Posts tagged ‘sunset’

A return to a favourite location – to find a feeling of calm and stillness.

Much has been written in recent times about how the combination of photography and mindfulness can be beneficial to your mental wellbeing. Simply being out in the open, experiencing nature and witnessing the marvel of the created world has to be good for the soul. Most people worry and are anxious from time to time without actually suffering from a mental illness, myself included.

As well as taking regular exercise for your physical fitness, I recognise that doing things which specifically help your mental wellbeing are just as important, perhaps even more so given the world in which we live right now. So whilst stress and anxiety are not really a big issue for me, we can all benefit from being creative in a beautiful location and in so doing capturing a few special moments with a camera.

A few weeks ago I returned to one of my favourite places. East Head at West Wittering on the West Sussex coast. Probably one of the finest stretches of sand along the south coast and often listed in ‘Britain’s Best Beaches’. More often than not I am there with my wife and our dog early in the morning. On this occasion I went there on my own for a couple of hours not to walk but to photograph. I chose one particular spot, and then observed the tide receding and captured the setting sun. Because of the fading light and a desire to smooth the water all of the images you see here were long exposures which of course required the use of a tripod. This in itself forced me to slow down.

With no pressure on my time I could relax and concentrate on what I was doing. Whilst waiting for the light to change I simply stopped and watched the sun work its magic in the sky. Any worrying thoughts I had were lifted; as there was no space in my mind for anything other than photography and the scenery around me. Just ‘being in the moment’ to coin a phrase. Photographing sunsets is something of a cliche, but does that matter? Not in my opinion when the benefits are so tangible.

It has been a while since I last updated this blog and I am pleased to have another three or four entries to compose and publish soon. All of which will feature colour photographs as this seems to be the path I am following for now. I am also aware that I need to spend some time updating this website generally to reflect this change of direction. There are also a number of camera and processing techniques which I have yet to try – for example, focus stacking and exposure blending. Nothing new or original, just something I have never done before, so when I do I will endeavour to write about my experiences and share some images.

For now though I will simply leave you with this summary. If you are a creative (it doesn’t have to be photography), then put aside some time in your diary, head out to a favourite location and turn off your phone. Try and relax and take a few deep breaths, whilst you experience and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you, And perhaps for the time you are there some of your worries will ease, as a feeling of calm and stillness prevails.

Whitesands Bay – The magical Golden Hour

17.09.47 – The Golden Hour begins

 

In the past couple of months I have been making more use of my Instagram account (@arfrost) and on it my profile reads – ‘A monochrome photographer with occasional colour lapses’. I think this sums up my approach to photography rather well, and this post is just that, a lapse into colour.

For many landscape photographers the ‘Golden Hour’ at the beginning or at the end of the day is one of the most popular times to be out with a camera. This set of images demonstrates rather well the reason why it can be a magical experience. The colour of the light is constantly changing and arguably the longer you wait, the greater the reward is likely to be.

 

17.24.03 Showing Potential

 

All of these images were taken from more or less the same position, looking out over Whitesands Bay in Pembrokeshire back in February this year. The first frame was taken at 17.10hrs and the last at just before 18.00hrs, a difference of just 50 minutes.

 

17.44.46 Jogger at dusk

 

17.54.10 Forty five minutes after the first frame

 

17.58.11 The Magical Golden Hour

 

As well as the glorious colour palettes the inclusion of people and in some cases their dogs as well, adds human interest to three of the five images, which appeals to me.

If you happen to find yourself in a wonderful location when the day is drawing to a close, and assuming you have the time to sit or stand and just wait; then there is no greater pleasure than to enjoy the ‘Golden Hour’. Whether you have a camera with you or not, the experience is hard to beat.

 

Bosham harbour at dusk

Bosham at Dusk

 

Bosham is a very pretty village forming part of Chichester Harbour, not far from the City of Chichester along the South Coast in West Sussex.

As you can probably imagine its picturesque appearance attracts numerous visitors throughout the year, as well as many a photographer. It’s a location that when the weather, light and the tide are all right, you may not find you are on your own with a camera. This is one of those scenes which has to be part of your photo library but I am all too aware that thousands of people before me will have been there and taken pictures of the setting sun; however it is too beautiful to dismiss just because of its popularity.  In fact if it wasn’t for the tide then the tripod holes where I was standing to take this image would be very evident! Despite all of these comments it’s a scene that is hard to resist even if it lacks originality.

This was one of those rare occasions when my Leica M9-P and 90mm lens were attached to a tripod. The exposure time was several seconds long, as the there was little or no light to speak of and I wanted a slow exposure to smooth the water in the foreground and introduce a little movement in the veil of clouds over the church spire. The fact that lights in the houses fronting the water were just being switched on adds another element of interest to the shot.

For those of you who are not familiar with this area, you might like to know that Bosham is in fact pronounced ‘Bozam’ and not ‘Bosh-ham’.

 

Do click on the image to view a larger version which will open in a new window.

Just before the dark – take 2

 

This line of trees appeared in my last post ‘Just before the dark’ and I decided to return to the same place a couple of days ago as the late afternoon light and cloud formations suggested the possibility of a colourful sunset. As you can see from these three pictures I was not to be disappointed.

 

 

Sunsets are such a popular subject for photographs and it’s easy to understand why. In fact its something of a cliche, but the sheer variety of colours on display is nature at its best, so it’s very hard to resist getting out the camera and releasing the shutter a few times.

The most dramatic skies often appear just after the sun has dipped below the horizon. By this time there is less chance of a blown out area in the frame, as the sensor struggles to cope with the dynamic range of the scene.  The light though was fading fast, so a monopod or tripod helps, but both are clumsy items to have with you on a dog walk, so these shots were all handheld. I left the aperture nearly wide open as I wasn’t too worried about depth of field as there was nothing in the foreground which needed to be sharp.

 

 

A photographic cliche perhaps, but beautiful all the same.

Do click on any image to view a larger version which will open in a new window.

Colour of light on The Jurassic Coast

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Clavell Tower at Kimmeridge Bay at the end of the day

 

The Jurassic Coast in Dorset is a World Heritage site, famous for its cliffs, beaches and fossils. Together they reveal the history of the earth over a period of 185 million years. Just jaw dropping.  The area is also a rich source of photographic subjects and whilst it’s a challenge to take anything that hasn’t already been taken many times before, it’s no less appealing simply because of its popularity, particularly when the colour of the light is at its most favourable.

My wife and I have just returned from a short break in the area, staying at West Lane Cottage in Piddlehinton which is about 20 to 25 minutes drive from various parts of the coast. We chose to visit a number of different locations, mainly towards the end of the day and we were blessed with some fine weather and on one day in particular, a superb sunset.

By way of a change from my usual monochrome work, here are a selection of photographs captured on our trips to the coast.

Perhaps, just perhaps, maybe I should do a little more colour work in the future? Only time will tell.

 

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Morning light on East Cliff near West Bay

 

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Towards Golden Cap from West Bay

 

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The cliffs at Hive Beach near Burton Bradstock

 

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Looking east from Swyre as the sun starts to set

 

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Sunset at Swyre – looking towards Golden Cap