I'm a fan of tiki bars. Catching a tan, staying cool, being able to buy a beer, meeting other people and gazing out over the ocean kept me close to this exotic looking hut at the end of the Grand Velas' pool in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I only went in the ocean a few times. Maybe I'm getting old, but it was nice to go on a trip and just relax by the poolside.
I used a 10 stop filter in this shot to achieve the smooth clouds in the background. A 10 stop filter lets less light into your camera, thereby increasing the amount of time the shutter speed is open. If I remember correctly, this shot's exposure time was around 2 minutes. (If you want to see this similar scene without the smooth clouds, I posted one a few days ago. Both evoke a different feeling, although it's the same image.)
I've mentioned it before, but I can't stress enough how important it is to really understand the basics of a camera and not rely on the 'automatic' setting. I recently purchased a completely analog film camera. It has no automatic light sensor, so that the camera knows how long to open the shutter speed or what aperture to set it at. Although I know about the aperture, shutter speeds and ISOs - when it comes to understanding a light and correctly exposing a shot without any help, it's not easy. It does, however, force you to really understand HOW a camera actually works. Although the digital world has made taking photos much easier, in order to really capture a scene at it's best, it's good to know the old analog methods. Whether it's with filters, manual exposures or even dark room processing methods, learning these 'old tricks' and understanding them before you click a button in digital world will help you get the most out of your photography.