I recently read on a blog post about how photographers often forget to look at their local town for inspiration and ideas, so I know I often visit the New Forest and the Coastline, but today I headed into Lymington to capture my home town and some of its characteristics.
These two photos show the Lymington Quay area, very popular with tourists and difficult to expose for as their are lots of shadows. I have not photographed this for a while, as I tend to avoid the area in summer, but I am delighted with how well they turned out and they have a lovely summer feel!
At the bottom of the cobbled street is the harbour, the photo above was taken standing down on the slipway and you can see people eating ice cream, and feeding the ducks – a popular summer past time. I thought about the angle here from which I took the photo … something slightly different as I am below the people which gives the image a sense of scale.
This photo made me smile. This elderly couple carefully put on their life jackets – the lady in the rear is still doing to string up on hers … it was great that they were wearing life jackets, but I felt that they had seen better days, were a relic of the past and I don’t know if they would be that much help in an emergency.
I then had the opportunity to shoot some photos of some young people on the Quay doing a very dangerous activity. They were jumping off the Quayside into the water – there are signs up warning you not to do so, there are also rocks in the water below… but these teenagers were taking random runs along the quayside and leaping off the edge. I decided it was the perfect change to try high speed photography, and I have merged each series of jumps together in Photoshop.
The first one was a somewhat gentle jump, here I have merged 3 photos together but I am delighted with how well the jumper was kept in focus.
Suddenly his friend then leaped in – I was not at the right angle to get his take off but was able to get him landing fully in the water. I am not sure photographing a dangerous activity such as tombstoning, but if something does happen I will have accurate record shots.
There was then a gap, they didn’t jump in any more and I had almost put my camera down to enjoy the view when the eldest team did a running dive into the water, I just hit the focus button, and clicked – I did not have time to raise the camera to my eye, hence the crocked horizon but I did manage to capture the dive!
I then looked at changing my settings, and the camera I am using has a high speed shutter burst – so I switched to that and waited patiently for them to jump in again. I almost gave up, when they decided to have one more go.
The above shot is nine shots, roughly merged into one – you can see how the young man has made a running leap off the quay and into the water and how much movement his body makes during the jump. I was amazed at home many shots I could fire off in one go – and amazingly each individual shot was taken in camera raw.
My final shot is of the eldest teen – one of his friends was still in the water when he leaped, and I managed to capture the whole jump from standing on the quayside, leaping outwards over the water, his changing position and the splash. This was a sequence of 11 photos merged together in Photoshop.
Today was a great day – the teens did not die tomb-stoning, and I got to capture some photos in my home town just be being there with my camera, it pays to carry it with you.