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“Show us a swarm today: large group, moving together. Birds. Bugs. Kids. Taxi cabs. Your subjects can be big or small, animate or inanimate — whatever they are, you just need a lot of them.” ~ Michelle W.

Pictured  below is a “swarm” of seals. This was taken at Point Reyes, CA, and the seals were everywhere!

Seals cover the rugged rocks at Point Reyes, CA.

“Swarm” of seals at Point Reyes, CA.

Included in this theme’s challenge was this tip: Don’t just point and shoot. Observe your scene closely before pressing the shutter. Spend time watching and planning your frame, so that you can take a photo that captures a unique moment in the larger scene.

With the photo of the seals, I didn’t feel I’d really captured a unique moment in a larger scene so I added these 2 photos below that incorporated that idea.

The first photo gives you the big picture, it’s more of a point and shoot version. This is the scene from the start of the 2014 Everglades Challenge. Small boats (man-powered and wind-powered only) start at Ft. De Soto on either a 60-mile or 300-mile race. They cross the Tampa Bay and dodge the other boat traffic along the way, some of which is enormous in comparison.

A multitude of small boats, all man- or wind-powered, crossing the Tampa Bay with a freighter in their midst.

Warren Richey wrote the book Without a Paddle about his experience racing in the Everglades Challenge. He described a scene like the one above as like being under attack by a Lilliputian Army. This is not an exact quote, just me recollecting his reference to a Lilliputian Army and how perfect a description that was.

The picture below is the one that captures a unique moment in a larger scene. With the rowboat in the foreground and freighter and smaller boats in the background, it provides much more of a contrast than the overall, big picture does.

Swarm of boats taking part in the Everglades Challenge 2014 with a rowboat in the foreground and a freighter in the background.

Old Man and the Sea