Enjoying the shade of an umbrella while on a perfect beach in Mexico, with a Coca-Cola with real sugar for some refreshment. What could be better? Not much, if you ask me.
If you were following along in the 2016 Cruise to Mexico Trip Report, you might know that this beach visit came right after we saw some cool Mayan Ruins at Xcambo, which came right after we had ridden bicycles through some salt flats. Then we arrived at an empty beach with some great weather, and everything was just about perfect. We had even stopped along the way at a convenience store for some drinks, and of course Laura and I couldn’t resist getting a Coke with real sugar, one of our favorite treats.
This is one of those photos that becomes my desktop wallpaper on my office computer immediately after I finish processing it. I have talked before about how photos sometimes mean more to the person who took them than to everyone else, and perhaps that is happening here. Yes, it is a nice enough view for just about anyone, unless you really just don’t like the beach. But for me it is the reminder of a near perfect day with my lovely wife doing fun things that we don’t usually get to do. That’s what I see when I look at this.
Yes, I also see the Coke bottle sitting there, along with another bottle in the cupholder of the chair that is in the lower right of the frame. That Coke bottle on the table really isn’t an accident at all. To be quite honest, I very purposefully put the Coke there, even making sure to turn it the right way so that the label is visible. I didn’t have any grand ideas of Coca-Cola wanting to use this in any of their ads, though. I just wanted another reminder of one of the many cool things we enjoyed that day. Yes, I’m strange. You don’t have to tell me that.
I have also been reminded lately that not everyone enjoys Coke with real sugar that way that some of us do. I have discovered that almost all of those who don’t like it were born in the early 1980s or later. So now when someone says they don’t like it, I usually say, “I bet you were born sometime after 1985.” “Yes, how did you know?” Those of us who enjoy Coke with real sugar are the ones who drank lots of it that way before they changed to New Coke and then back to Coca-Cola Classic, except that the “classic” recipe had substituted high fructose corn syrup for real sugar. But if all you have ever known is Coke with corn syrup because you were born after that was introduced, then that is what tastes “normal” to you and Coke with sugar tastes strange. These days just about everywhere in the world except for the United States uses sugar in Coke, so those of us who remember the good old days have to enjoy it while we can.
If you happen to enjoy Coke with sugar while enjoying some shade on a beautiful beach, that’s even better.
God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me to comprehend; how vast their sum is! If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I wake up, I am still with You. - Psalm 139:17-18
About the Photo
I mentioned some about the setup of this photo above, but really, it wasn’t a long, drawn-out setup. Just a quick placement of the Coke bottle before shooting. I still love the fisheye lens for being able to get views from right up under an umbrella like this. It makes me feel like I am right back there under the umbrella again, enjoying the heat and the breeze in the shade.
I really liked how the processing here brought out the tones of the palm frond thatch of the umbrella. While the overall view was good to begin with, the processing gives it just that extra bit of pop that it needs to make it even more interesting. Here is a before-and-after view to show the value of shooting Raw:
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: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: July 19, 2016
Location: Yucatan, Mexico