Despite, or perhaps because of, the abundance of glossy postcards of Cape Cod beaches, it can be challenging to take a good picture of a beach. The beauty of the beach is not just visual, it's also about the hot sun on your shoulders, the sound of the waves, the smell of salt water and coconut sunscreen, and frankly the excitement of being on vacation. None of which will get recorded on my camera's memory chip or film, although a good picture can evoke them.
This post is taking too long to write, because I keep getting myself sidetracked into unproductive rants and rambles. So, to make a long story short, one of the most valuable things I've learned is the difference between pretty (or even beautiful) and photogenic.
There are plenty of things which are pretty, but not necessarily photogenic. An open strip of sand with a clear sky and calm ocean, while pretty in person, is not necessarily photogenic. It actually tends towards boring photographs.
And I firmly believe that there is plenty in the world that is deeply photogenic, but not at all conventionally pretty. And this is the area that I'm drawn to; finding something interesting to see and capture on film (well, memory chip, now) even when the subject isn't conventionally pretty, or at least to find a different, interesting side to a pretty scene we've seen on a hundred postcards.