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Kite flying is a popular pastime on the Texas coast. The stiff offshore breeze from the Gulf of Mexico provides great conditions for staying aloft. The colors first caught my eye, and then the flow of the long tails captured my interest. The continuous rising and falling, twisting and turning made for fun compositions. With these particular kites, the colors contrasted nicely against the blue sky and wispy white clouds.
Port Aransas near Corpus Christi, Texas provided the location for this series of photographs. Port A, as it is known, is an island vacation town popular for its sport fishing, boating, and other sea-centric activities. The beach is broad and flat, perfect for families. Local folklore claims pirate Captain Jean Lafitte sailed the surrounding waters and buried treasures on the island. Those treasures have yet to be found!
This project was photographed in raw format using a Nikon D800 dSLR handheld while steadying against the cab of my SUV. The Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II IS zoom lens provides ample opportunity to compose with different focal lengths. The exposure was ISO100, f/11 at 1/250th. Adobe Lightroom was used for retouching and raw conversion.
The afternoon sun on the Texas coast is brilliant, intense, and consistent, so I intuitively chose a “sunny sixteen” equivalent exposure. To my surprise when I imported the card into Lightroom, all the frames were slightly underexposed. While an exposure error is easy to correct using Lightroom, I was still curious as to why the images were all underexposed. A clue came from the metadata captured with each image. The timestamp on the frames was October 14 at 4pm. In mid-October, the sun is naturally lower in the sky than in the summer months. The days are also shorter. So, at 4pm in October, I no longer had a sunny sixteen situation. Don’t let the bright sun fool you!
Jeff Kauffman is an art photographer in Austin, Texas USA. His work has appeared worldwide in publications, art festivals, and commercial venues. Selected works are available for purchase from Jeff’s online art store as well as these fine-art and image licensing outlets.
- Limited Edition, signed original prints: Saatchi Art
- Publication and Stock Photography: Arcangel Images | Alamy
- Art for Corporate, Hospitality, and Interior Design projects: IndieWalls | Nine Dot Arts | Turning Art