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
What does this title mean exactly? Let me explain.
Whenever I visit a beautiful location for the first time, there comes a point when I have to leave, to head home and then long to return another day. I distinctly remember when I first witnessed the glorious Lake District. It was many, many years ago and I was on my way back from Scotland with my parents. We decided to take a detour through The Lakes as we had never visited this part of the UK before. We didn’t stop or stay, just drove through and admired the view.
Photography is very often a solitary pursuit and when outdoors in a beautiful landscape I find it is one of contemplation as well. Time passes swiftly as I immerse myself in the surroundings with just the occasional person walking past who may or may not say hello. That’s fine by me. I don’t wish to sound unsociable but nor do I want my concentration broken.
This weekend I decided to slow things right down and do some long exposure captures. It’s not an approach I have taken before for one principal reason. I have always thought myself to be a spontaneous, albeit considered photographer, who enjoys hand held compositions. The flexibility of being able to move a camera quickly from one position to another is in stark contrast to the tedium of carrying and using a tripod. However long exposures and tripods go hand hand in hand assuming of course you want the static element in the frame to be sharp. If you enjoy ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) then a tripod is no longer a requirement.
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.