Shelby Irons » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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Apr 172013

Photograph copyright Shelby Irons

This image was a wonderful accident. I was leaving on a cruise ship to Venice, Italy that started out from a port in Miami, Florida. I was on the top deck hanging out with my family and enjoying the beautiful day. As the ship started leaving we passed all of these industrial cargo ships that were not much to look at. I happened to head to the other side of the deck on the top floor to get a cooler view and stumbled upon something pretty awesome. From that view, you could see the beach and the entire strip of Miami. It was filled with a ton of people enjoying the sunny day and the water was a wonderful shade of bright blue. In that moment, I decided it needed to be photographed! I ran back down to my room to get my camera and realized that our balcony had an even better view of the beach that was a little bit closer.

I started messing around with my manual settings and kept taking various shots with several different shutter speeds. I wanted to have a pretty quick shutter speed in order to capture all of the different people at the beach. Then, I adjusted my ISO because I wanted to be able to have details of the building and the beach but still capture the clarity of the water and the sky. Since it was so bright out, I kept my Aperture at F/26, and that seemed to work perfectly. After having the settings that I was satisfied with, I zoomed in and out and trying different angles of the beach. Finally, I found what I was really looking for. I was able to capture a balance of the buildings, the boardwalk, and the entire strip of the beach in the image as well. I did not even have to do much post production on this photo; the colors of the water spoke for itself! I was very proud of myself for feeling more confident with my manual settings. Trying to capture this image also taught me to be aware of my surroundings. As a photographer, I want to always keep trying to find that great angle by moving around. Sometimes it will just stumble upon you and sometimes you will really have to go the extra mile to successfully capture that perfect image.

About the Photographer:
My name is Shelby Rae Irons. I am a 21 year old day-dreamer, traveler, animal lover, and passionate photographer. Currently, I attend school at Northern Arizona University in the pines of Flagstaff, Arizona. I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a minor in Photography. I consider myself a huge people person. Being around others is when I am usually most content. My family is very important to me; they are what inspire me to do my best. I picked up a camera about 10 years ago and haven’t been able to put it down since. Photography helps me escape and is like a blank canvas that allows me to create whatever my mind dreams of. I try to captivate moments that make me happy to be alive; taking pictures of anything from trees to beer bottles but mostly people. I hope to continue to pursue photography for as long as I live. Please check out my website

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at