Posts from the ‘seascape’ category

Something completely different

My approach to land and seascapes is I think a fairly traditional one and it’s an approach that works for me. However I do see lots of black and white images using slow shutter speeds and taking a more minimalist view of the landscape. Concentrating on a small area can often result in something which has an abstract ‘feel’ to the image. Accordingly there are few if any reference points and little or no sense of scale. I guess this results in the viewer trying to discern what they might be looking at, a sense of mystery perhaps, which in turn begs the question – ‘what was the photographer trying to say?’ when he or she took the shot.

So I thought I would have a go a this approach myself. Its good to experiment, your eyes start to see things differently. Consequently I returned to a particular location as I could pre-visualise a subject matter which might work for this ‘new’ approach. I also adopted a different technique using a 10 stop ND filter to slow the shutter speed right down. This of course required me to use a tripod which also slows down the photographer. No bad thing in itself as you spend more time composing the shot and getting the right camera settings. The latter was more challenging than the former, as I had never used a 10 stop ND filter before. The Hi Tec filter I was using left a horrible colour cast but this didn’t matter quite so much as I knew I would be converting the image to black and white.

Shown below is the result of me trying to do something completely different. A 30 second exposure and I used Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro2 for post processing.

20130215-P2150242-Edit.jpg
Remnants

For my first attempt at this style of photography I am quite pleased with the end result. Is it something I would like to do more of?…….I’m not sure but I enjoyed doing something just a little bit different, well for me anyway.

Oh and if you are wondering, the photograph is the remains of a jetty in Langstone Harbour in Hampshire.

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LRPS Assessment Day

Having enjoyed some success and recognition at my camera club during the past year, I decided a few weeks ago to set myself the goal of submitting a panel of work to the Royal Photographic Society or RPS, for Licentiateship. I thought six months would be a reasonable length of time in which to prepare.

Another club member, who has the distinction of being an ARPS or Associate, gave me the confidence to believe that my work is worthy of a submission and that he would be prepared to be a mentor and guide me through the process.

Believing there was no rush, as the first available date was not until April 2013, he suggested it would be a good idea to attend an assessment workshop in November. I booked myself a place and I will look forward to the day.

In the meantime I checked the RPS website for their guidelines and what would be required come the big day. This was something of a mistake, as I noticed they had added an extra assessment date to their calender…..at the beginning of December this year!

Do I or don’t I, I asked myself? Believing there is no time like the present I completed an application form, sent it in the post with my entry fee, and the following day received email confirmation that my application had been accepted.

Now the hard work really begins. In the space of the next few weeks I have to select ten images, decide on a layout, print and mount them. The printing and mounting are hopefully fairly straightforward, but before I reach that stage there is plenty of ‘dithering’ to be done. I have chosen a short list of about 25, images although in truth I think there are only fifteen of the standard they are likely to require.

If the number of entries to this blog reduce in number in the next few weeks then I hope you will understand why!

I have added an image which might just make the final ten.

Sea Swirl taken on the Isle of Eigg last year.

Swirling sea on the Isle of Eigg

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South coast seafront

I am very fortunate to live and work close to the sea, so the opportunity to take some coastal shots when I have a few minutes to spare are most welcome. A few days ago I took some photos of Bognor Regis seafront, although on this occassion I mainly concentrated on the Pier. Like many in this country the pier is always in need of repair. The constant ravages of the salt water, wind, rain and even the sun, all take their toll as the seasons pass by. From a photographic point of view  they also make good black and white subjects.

When I have more time I will take some images of other piers along the South Coast. They are a relic of a bygone era, and whilst many still survive others have sadly been lost forever.

Here are a few shots all taken with the Olympus OMD EM5 and Panasonic 20mm f1.7 prime lens. On this occasion the mono conversion was carried out in Lightroom 4 and not in Silver Efex Pro 2. I have also set up a preset in Lightroom which allows me to quickly batch process a series of images into black and white, using my preferred settings. These are mainly, adding contrast, clarity and sharpening, as I always shoot in RAW.

As it’s the end of October I suspect this may be the last time the ‘Bouncy Castle’ will be inflated this year.

Bognor Regis seafront

The rain was being blown in from the west….ready to inflict some more damage on the fabric of the pier.

Bognor Regis Pier

They really are extraordinary structures……………

Bognor Regis pier

…..and something has to hold them up.

Pier support

The caption for this last shot might be……..

‘Only survivors will be prosecuted!’

Only survivors will be prosecuted!

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Early morning walk by Chichester Harbour

Having really enjoyed the results of my visit to East Head last Friday, the next morning my wife and I walked our dog from Dell Quay to Birdham Pool along the footpath which adjoins Chichester Harbour.

When we arrived we immediately enjoyed the early morning light coupled with similar cloud formations to the previous day. The temptation was just too great – the little Olympus E-PL3 with its standard kit lens, had to come out of my jacket pocket and be fired up. A few quick shots later and the pick of the bunch is shown below. It works well in colour but the black and white conversion is my preferred choice.

By the time we had finished our walk and returned to the car, the clouds had lifted to be replaced by clear blue skies and the opportunity to photo the quiet stillness of the early morning had gone. “Win the morning and win the day” as my uncle used to say.

Chichester Harbour at Dell Quay
Olympus E-PL3 14-42mm kit lens @ 27mm f5.6 1/400 ISO200Early morning at Dell Quay

As we neared the end of our walk I spotted a Red Admiral butterfly basking in the autumn sunshine on a oak leaf. Its not my usual style or indeed subject. Firstly its a nature shot and secondly its in colour and not black and white! Nevertheless it was a shot worth taking in my view and I have to say I am pleased with the quality of the image produced by the 14 – 42mm kit lens on the Olympus E-PL3.
Red Admiral butterfly

Gathering storm at East Head

Last Friday was the second time I didn’t need to go into the office. It’s still a strange feeling working a four day week, but a very pleasant one all the same!  Having decided that I would try and devote some of my time every Friday to my photography, I thought that I should rekindle the Nikon D90 DSLR and perhaps visit the coast – attach a wide angle lens and see what I can produce.

Breakfast over, I packed everything I thought I might need in my camera bag and headed down to West Wittering, with the specific intention of exploring East Head. The sky was blue and completely void of clouds. A beautiful morning but as I drove to my destination I thought the weather was just too fine for the type of images I had envisaged taking. The weather forecast had indicated that by lunchtime clouds and maybe the odd the shower, would arrive from the west. I thought better of a morning shoot, turned the car round and headed home to do some gardening!
By lunchtime the weather forecast proved to be accurate; so back in the car and I headed south. As I parked up, the cloud formations were taking shape and I knew the decision I had made earlier to postpone my ‘shutter therapy’ (a phrase coined by Robin Wong – read his blog here) had been the right one.
By late afternoon the rain clouds appeared to the north and the wind moved them swiftly across the South Downs from west to east. In the meantime East Head itself was still bathed in glorious autumnal sun, which resulted in the three images below.

I returned home, downloaded the images using Lightroom and converted to monochrome in Silver Efex Pro 2.

Storm approaching.
Nikon D90 with 16-85mm @ 19mm f18 1/80 ISO200 hand heldStorm clouds at East Head

Sand dunes and wind blown grasses
Nikon D90 10-24mm @10mm f10 1/160 ISO200 hand heldSand dunes at East Head

East Head – the gathering storm
Nikon D90 16-85mm @16mm f18 1/125 ISO200 hand heldStorm approaching East Head at Wittering