Back to the Beach in Mexico

Umbrella at Xcambo Beach-1600

A thatch umbrella and beautiful white sand at a beach in Yucatan, Mexico, beckon us to come back.

Unfortunately, the title of this post does not mean that we are actually going back to the beach in Mexico. At least not that we know of. But then this time last year we had no idea that we would be going on a cruise to Mexico last summer, so you just never know.

But this is the time of year that I start dreaming about going to the beach, as the winter weather drags on. Except for a little snow a couple of weeks ago, it hasn’t been all that cold here, but we have had lots and lots of rain and very little sun. My sunglasses thought that they are hibernating for the winter, so they were in for a shock this morning when I put them on. Nice to finally see the sun again, and hopefully it will last most of the week like the weather forecast says. If not, maybe I will just wear them on a cloudy day so they won’t feel so forsaken.

We do have some good plans for the summer, and they do involve some time at a beach, so there is definitely hope. But all of that does seem quite far away from here in the middle of January. So I look back at photos from past beach adventures and dream.

Besides, while we were at the beach in this photo, we didn’t hear any complaining about politics, or whining about people not getting their way, or much of anything else, actually, because as you can see there weren’t that many people around. And all of us who were there were so happy to be at such a beautiful place that we couldn’t think of anything to complain about. Maybe in life if we just realize how good we have it sometimes, we wouldn’t be so likely to complain about what we don’t have. That works any time, even if you aren’t at a perfect beach, because we really do have it pretty good.

If the scene above looks familiar, that is because it is the same umbrella featured in an earlier post:

A Perfect Day and a Coke Under a Beach Umbrella in Mexico

But for the photo at the top I switched lenses and stepped back several feet to get a different view. As you can see, my Coke was still there waiting for me. But don’t worry, I did eventually drink the whole thing.

So for now, I will keep on dreaming of the beach. And I will be sure not to take it for granted whenever we do get to go back to a beach again.

Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves. - Psalm 126:6

About the photo:

As I mentioned above, for this photo I switched to the 25mm prime lens for a different effect. Because while fisheye photos are interesting, sometimes other photos can be interesting as well. And sometimes some people get tired of fisheye photos. Or so I have heard. While the previous photo gives you the feel of being under the umbrella, this one gives more of a general feel of being at the beach. There is a time and a place for both, after all.

I used the prime lens and opened up the aperture all the way to create just a little bokeh on the background, while keeping the umbrella and the plant near it in sharper focus. It is a bit subtle, because the bokeh isn’t extreme, but it works, I think.

But having the aperture open wide let in a lot of light, and as you might expect on a bright, sunny day at the beach with lots of white sand, that was almost too much light for the camera. Fortunately, I was able to dial everything down using the Raw file, so that I didn’t lose any of the detail. The before-and-after photo below shows just how bright the original image was. It almost looks like two different photos, but I can assure you that both of those are the same photo. Really.

Umbrella at Xcambo Beach in Mexico before and after

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus M.Zukio 25mm f1.8
Date: July 19, 2016
Location: Yucatan, Mexico

2016 Cruise to Mexico

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.