I’ve just found out that Light and Landscape magazine have used my photo Priests Cove as the cover image on their latest issue. An article about my Seascape photography is in side. This magazine is free and has a large following around the World. It is available from the iTunes store and is well worth downloading.
A Life With The Ocean Wave.
A little over 4 years ago I decided to start a new hobby,Outdoor Photography,and in particular Seascape Photography, Living near a beach I suppose it was natural that the sea would feature heavily in this new pursuit.
Living in the Penwith area of Cornwall I am spoilt for choice when it comes too locations. I have two coasts to choose from and both are within easy reach. When I started to take pictures I would like a lot of people take pictures of Sunset and I suppose like the vast majority of photographers, hoped that the colour would be magnificent and I would get “that shot!” I soon noticed that I seemed to be sharing my vantage points with a whole host of other photographers,all in search of capturing what they had seen in magazines or had heard about from other photographers,especially during the summer months. It wasn’t long before I tired of sharing locations with other people and thought I would try the other end of the day instead.
After a few early starts I realised that the light I preferred was in the Blue hour before Sunrise. Instead of a very bright light I was rewarded with,on some occasions, wonderful pastel light. I was hooked, and the bonus seemed to be that no one liked getting up early and so I usually had these beaches all to myself,all I had to do was get up. Well actually my wife set the alarm and then woke me. Nothing better than sharing a hobby!
My favourite location for an early morning trip is Pednvounder Beach next to Porthcurno. The water is a magnificent blue very reminiscent of the Caribbean and when viewed people immediately think that you’ve played with the colour. I can assure you it really is like that. I believe it is because the beach is made up of very small seashells and they reflect the light in such a way as to display this amazing colour.
Another outstanding location is my local beach Godrevy,I sometimes feel this beach is in my DNA. I surfed here in 69 as a 12 year old,when there was only a handful of us out in the water. Today it is one of the most popular surfing beaches in the South West,if not the UK. Although I still have a couple of boards I haven’t surfed since I took up photography. I just don’t have the time anymore.
The beach is a long sandy expanse with rocks and an iconic and much photographed Lighthouse at the far end. If you get the timing right and the sunrise spot on the Lighthouse seems to glow in the warm morning light.
Looking across the bay in the distance lies the town of St.ives. A seaside town that is home to several talented artists due to the wonderful quality of light. In the summer the town is crammed with tourists and parking is non existent even at 0400! I love to photograph the light,present in the skies above this lovely popular Cornish fishing town. Beware of the seagulls if visiting they love ice-cream and pasties.
I do on occasion like to shoot away from the coast and Cornwall also has some great inland spots to shoot.
Further up the county Golitha Falls is a location I visit as it is possible to capture a lovely woodland picture with, yes you’ve guessed it water. In this instance, a river, that after heavy rain can produce fast flowing water over a rocky bed with a couple of biggish drops that can be very photogenic.
From my first day out with my camera I wanted to capture the movement of water and in particular the way I had seen it captured in various publications. So when the Big Stopper came out I swiftly became a devotee of the dream like seascapes it can help create. Then I discovered the 4 Stop ND. This suited me better and I found I had more control it also allowed me to create a subtler picture and still create a similar effect. By varying the shutter speed,aperture and iso i could create different types of water movement particularly the waves moving back out to sea after they had crashed onto the shore. While I still carry a 10 Stop I very rarely use it. My go to filters are the 4 Stop ND and a 3 Stop Medium Grad. I find with these I can create atmosphere and movement in the water. I try to visualise the picture and the type of emotion I want to convey before the shutter is pressed. Sometimes it works and sometimes I get a shot I wasn’t planning on but ultimately prefer.
Over the last year I’ve shot totally with a Sony A7Rii and usually with a 16-35 f4. With the arrival of the Batis 18mm and Loxia 35mm I switched to Primes and although I’ve just invested in a Sony 24-70 f2.8 GM. I do prefer to go really wide and the 18mm is rarely off the camera.
I tend to favour a slight blue tint to my Seascapes when editing and I find I don’t have to do much to the White Balance or Tint as the sensor seems to favour blue anyway and because I shoot in RAW I can always change the White Balance if needs be.
I will do as much work as I need to in Post Processing and tend to stick to Lightroom,although at the moment I am trying to learn Luminosity Masking.
After spending most of my life on, in or near the sea, I try through my pictures to capture the beauty and ever changing moods of the coast as I see it. I hope my work can convey those feelings and emotions to others.