Day 290 – A visit to the sea

We had a visit at camera club on Monday by a local photographer – John Buttress who had been awarded a fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society (one of 841 people) and his specialty was exploring Coastlines. You can view his fellowship panel here.

It was an interesting evening, he shared with us photos from all around the UK and from Nova Scotia. Most of the photos were taken around the hours of dawn and dusk and had the most amazing light, but to me the photos gave me a different view of the beach he had looked at the details of the sea scape – the parts of the scene rather than the whole. I came away thinking that he had a great eye for creating pictures and that I could benefit from looking at more of the close up details – so this was my intention when visiting the beach today!

The beach - ISO100, F16, 1/125 sec
The beach – ISO100, F16, 1/125 sec

I was back at Highcliffe, this time with a battery in my camera and walking into the opposite direction… the light was interesting, the clouds diffusing it and at the same time allowing sun rays to shine through.  I wanted to make photos though from the beach rather than the bigger picture.

Paw prints in the sand - ISO100, F16, 1/100sec
Paw prints in the sand – ISO100, F16, 1/100sec

When on of the photo buddies ran along the wet sand – he left indents in the sand which quickly filled with water and then disappeared.  I captured them cause it gave me the feeling that I was not alone, and I loved how the waves retreated into the background adding a slight sense of timeless movement to the image.

A brick eroded on the beach - ISO640, F16, 1/200sec
A brick eroded on the beach – ISO640, F16, 1/200sec

This brick caught my eye – it was such a great colour, and when the tide washed around it and then back out to sea it uncovered a third stone – so I had three distinctively different stones, the power of red and a lovely indention in the sand – details can be interesting!

Where the sea meets the beach - IOS400, F16, 1/400sec
Where the sea meets the beach – IOS400, F16, 1/400sec

This is my favorite shot today – I love how the water is lit by the sunlight, how the bubbles add texture to the sea, how wet the sand looks and how symmetrical the image looks. I think the colours are great too. It is a relaxing, soothing image and contains a lot of negative space.  What do you think?

A pebble on the beach - ISO250, F16, 1/320sec
A pebble on the beach – ISO250, F16, 1/320sec

Watching how the water moved on the beach and the patterns that were left on the sand was interesting, and there were so many great textures to examine – I liked the diagonals on this image, as you are led through the picture, with the slight movement recorded on the water.

Wet Sand - ISO250, F16, 1/320sec
Wet Sand – ISO250, F16, 1/320sec

Wet Sand, another image inspired by John’s talk, his talk and images really highlighted to me that less is sometimes more. I don’t like the fact that you can not identify the location, but I do like the timeless feel the image has, and how it reminds me of the beach, the moment before wet sand ruined my shoes, family days out, my eldest’s first walk ( on a sandy beach 16 years ago) and I can really understand how the right light could add more to an image like this – my photos were captured mid morning.

Black and white coastline - ISO320, F16, 1/400sec
Black and white coastline – ISO320, F16, 1/400sec

The beach in black and white – the foam acts as a leading line to the sea, the items in the sand draw your eye and the reasonable shutter speed freezes most of the foam on the sea.

Reflections on the sand - ISO100, F16, 1/100 sec
Reflections on the sand – ISO100, F16, 1/100 sec

Stepping further back – there was also some amazing reflections on the wet beach of the sky, the texture of the wet sand provides all sorts of interest. I have boosted the yellow and blue colour saturation in this image, as I wanted those colours to be enhanced.

My final image is of a large piece of seaweed – the two stones lead into the image, and I chose a shallow depth of field so that the line of the sea weed would be softer and not draw you out of the picture. Timing was tricky here, as I wanted to freeze the moment that the sea touched the seaweed so I had a contrast of textures and so that the white foam highlighted the details on the sea weed even more.

Seaweed at the waters edge, ISO125, F6.3, 1/200sec
Seaweed at the waters edge, ISO125, F6.3, 1/200sec

I have certainly discovered this year that I enjoy taking photos in the natural environment. I have also discovered that hearing the stories behind other people’s images and seeing examples of their work can certainly inspire my own images. I think being a member of a camera club is a great idea – it brings variety to my photography and encourages me to see things differently. I have never followed or researched a famous photographer as I have always wanted to create my own images – but I think maybe I need to look at more work of others…

So today I am proposing a question… and would love to read your answer in the comments below … Who are your favorite photographers, who inspires your images or who do you think I should look at?

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