In case you were wondering about the title of this post, let me clarify straight away that all three images were captured using a Lee Super Stopper (15 stop Neutral Density filter). This gave me a two minute exposure time. Add in a second exposure for the same length of time for noise reduction and I was waiting four minutes before I could see the result on the camera screen. This is nothing of course compared to using a film camera when you might wait for days before finishing a roll of film, develop the film strip and then finally see a thumbnail print on a contact sheet, only to be elated or disappointed with the outcome.Read more
In about 11 weeks time, The Image Circle group exhibition will be opening The Oxmarket doors to the public. On the 14th November to be precise. Between now and then the six members of the group will be making their final selection as to what to display, organise matting and framing, choosing titles and of course promoting the event. It would be a pity to go to all this work if no one turns up!
I can only speak for myself but as I will be presenting a body of work on Chichester Harbour, as opposed to a selection of individual images or smaller collections of photographs, the overall layout of the panel is of particular importance to me.
I have been wanting to make the above image for some time. The view is across the harbour from Chidham towards the village of Bosham with its instantly recognisable Church and spire reaching to the sky.
I often return to this particular spot when out walking but to get the result I was looking for, the height of the tide had to be at a certain level. Too low and there is too much vegetation…..too high and the posts are disappearing into the water. I do have the ‘Tides Planner’ App for my iPhone which tells me the height of the tide, so today I headed out with time to spare to watch and wait as the tide started to come in. I had also been cotemplating that a long exposure would enhance the scene and this of course would require a tripod, ND filters etc. Not the sort of stuff I usually carry with me when out walking. I am normally a spontaneous photographer but this shot was planned and thought about in advance.
Although a fairly bright day there was no direct sunlight which is exactly what I wanted. Too much contrast would have made life more difficult, so a little bit of good fortune was on my side. Welly boots on, tripod securely standing in the silt, camera set up with a 28mm lens, composition decided, hyper-focal distance set and after 12 seconds at f11, the image was exposed to the sensor. I checked the histogram which showed me no blown highlights and in truth a balanced tonal range. Ideal for post processing.
I sometimes wait a few days or even longer before I process my images but on this occasion I couldn’t wait, so earlier this afternoon I sat down at my Mac, fired up Lightroom and overall I am pleased the result.
Here is another image taken at the same time. I thought about placing the posts in the centre of the frame but I rather like the fact they are offset to the left and lie on ‘the rule of thirds’. Placing them in the centre was a little too obvious.
And lastly another image of Bosham taken yesterday from a different position on the shoreline. This time at low tide.
All of these photographs are being added to my ‘Chichester Harbour’ project portfolio and when I get the time I will upload a gallery to this site.
Do click on an image to view a larger version.
Firstly some background information about this shot. Bosham (pronounced Bozzum) is arguably the most picturesque sailing village (read tourist honeypot) forming part of Chichester Harbour. Regular readers will know that a current project of mine is to photograph this area but in trying to do so I am very keen to avoid the typical picture postcard view.
Everyone who visits Bosham takes out their camera and posts their results on social media for all to see. They are mostly in colour and feature the church from across the water with a few boats in the foreground for good measure. If the sun is setting, then this is a further attraction, as it’s unquestionably a great place to be at the end of the day. (Scroll down to the end of this entry to see an example)
My stay in Pembrokeshire last week coincided with the pending arrival of Storm Doris. The naming of severe storms in the UK has become a convention since 2015. One of the ‘tour’ locations on the itinerary was Porthgain Harbour which lies on the north west coast. A pretty little hamlet, its name translates to Chisel Port, for it was once was used for quarrying. First it was slate, then brick and later granite were all shipped from this place. Now it’s perhaps best known as a tourist attraction with a choice of excellent places to eat and a couple of fine art galleries. In calmer weather there would also be a few fishing boats but I guess these had been removed from the harbour for the winter.
We first visited Porthgain in the afternoon, a couple of days before ‘Storm Doris’ was due to hit our shores. The sea was calm and the sun was setting in the west, so there was no direct light on the old Harbour Master’s Office at the end of the quay.
A couple of days later we returned for a very stomach satisfying lunch of fish and chips (what else?!) and timed our visit to coincide with the incoming tide and the arrival of the storm. It had been very gusty in the morning so we expected some dramatic seas. However as the wind was blowing more from a south westerly to westerly direction and not from the north west, the harbour was somewhat sheltered from the brunt of ‘Storm Doris’. Nevertheless the waters were very rough and as wave after wave hit the rocks, plumes of sea spray were being blown into the air.
Believing the sea would still be quite rough the next day, we returned again in the morning knowing the light would be falling on the Harbour Master’s Office. With clear skies it did, but the sea itself was surprisingly quite calm, so a wide angle view of the harbour was the best shot to be captured in the circumstances. The old brickworks are clearly visible on the left hand side.
As mentioned earlier The Met Office started naming storms in the UK in 2015. The idea to raise people’s awareness of forthcoming bad weather, which might cause damage, flooding or even loss of life. I do understand the need to do this if a severe storm is expected, but to my mind ‘weather warnings’ are now issued all too frequently. In the past heavy rain and high winds would have been accepted as normal and quite regular events during the winter; today though they come with yellow and amber warnings, which may or may not prove accurate anyway.
On this occasion ‘Storm Doris’ was much more severe in other parts of the country than in Pembrokeshire, which only goes to prove how difficult it is to forecast the weather even with all the technology and computer predictions available to the forecasters.