Tuesday 1 March 2016

Sand, Sea and Cold Wet Feet

I’ve spent much of the winter months (weather permitting) working on my seascapes.  At this time of year getting up to photograph a sunrise isn’t too painful – currently sunrise is around 7:00 am.  Allowing for travel and setting up at about 30 minutes before the sun rises, that means getting up in the morning at around 5:00 am at the latest.  Still manageable.  With the mornings becoming lighter by the day, soon it will be a struggle so I’m making the most of the opportunity.  Of course, I do have a bit of a thing about watching the dawning of a new day over the sea.  It never gets tired for me especially when it’s quiet and nobody is about.
This weekend it nearly didn’t happen.  The forecast was for low cloud and possible snow but I was going to go out regardless but since I wasn’t going to see the sun I figured I could get there a bit later.  The overcast sky would still produce the kind of subdued lighting suitable for photography.  As it turned out on the morning, I woke up over an hour before my alarm was due to go off so I checked the latest forecast which had now changed to light cloud and so a possible sight of the sun.  This was motivation enough as these might be the last ‘ideal’ conditions, with the tide going out and at just the right time for sunrise. 


The first image is quite blue temptation and the first thought might be to ‘warm it up’ in post processing, but it is as I remember it, though maybe darker as it was about 20 minutes before the sun rose.  As the tide went out I moved along the beach where rocks were starting to reveal themselves, making for a more interesting foreground.  Anyone who has ever taken images of seascapes will know there are a few good reasons for doing so when the tide is going out, one of which are the waves themselves.  If the tide is coming in the waves are more forceful and you risk, literally, getting washed away.  With the tide going out the waves are more gentler, however every now and then a big wave will still come in and by positioning yourself a little distance from the tide line, this is the wave you photograph crashing over the rocks.

Unfortunately, on this morning's adventure, these ‘big waves’ seemed bigger than normal and it wasn’t long before I got my feet completely wet.  I couldn’t leave my camera on the tripod when one of these waves came in for fear it washing it away.  If I took my tripod and camera away then I would have missed the ideal shot (though still did this a few times).  The next two shots below I definitely got my feet wet!  Although initially I did try and move out of the way of one of these waves whilst keeping within grabbing distance of my camera, it didn’t ultimately make any difference and in the end I didn’t bother at all to get out of the way, though not before on one occasion when, surprised by one large wave I instinctively reacted, the weight of my camera back caused me to fall backwards into the wave, where I let off a stream of obscenities, not realising there were a couple of people nearby, beachcombing.


Despite my feet, legs up to my knees and now, back, were completely soaked and in temperatures around freezing, I persevered.  As sunrise was now due it was clear I was unlikely to have any kind of glowing spectacle as I could only see a slight orange horizon but the cloud formations were a spectacle in themselves and it wasn’t until I got home and could look at some of the images more closely that I could see in the distance some rain storms over the sea. Unfortunately these image, due to their size don’t do justice to scene and it’s best to look at a better sized image here where you can see the storms in the distance.





After a dozern freezing drenchings later and with the light becoming too bright and harsh I decided to call it a day.  Some attempt was made to dry my feet out.  When I took my boots off I could poor the water out!  Luckily I carry around a small hand towel in my camera bag, just in case so was able to dry my feet off.  Next time though I will remember to bring a spare set of socks.