I am fortunate enough to live 200 metres from the sea. Thanks to the UK’s changeable weather and a 4-5 metre tide there is plenty of scope to produce good images.
‘Blue Surf’ is one of a series of my seascapes that has kept me busy for the last year. It was shot in March, on a wet and windy morning. I enjoy the challenge of trying to produce decent images when the elements are against you. With seascapes you cannot have any preconceived ideas about what you would like the images to be: Mother Nature has plans of her own.
Shooting long exposures of between 0.5 – 3.0 seconds (mainly handheld) can give you another dimension in which to work. I can go to the beach on the dullest, flattest of mornings and create something that is not immediately visible to one’s eye. I can create motion where there is none, compose shapes unseen by the naked eye.
The human eye is a marvellous thing, able, at a glance, to differentiate between subtle shades of colour, to focus on fine detail, or distant mountains. However, it has it’s limitations. It is quick enough to follow the beat of a swan’s wing, but not that of a humming bird.
The camera will let you see all of these things, and more. The camera can free your mind to see things that you can’t. The camera allows you to see into a magical, secret world where anything is possible.
Proper camera technique is still very important. It’s a skill acquired over the years and then sometimes, purposely ignored. By breaking the rule of ‘Never shoot handheld at more than 1/30 second’, you can give the image an effective, impressionistic feel to it.
Shooting in bad weather makes you a better photographer. Whenever I leave home with my camera I’m reminded of the words said to me when i was young by a very strict studio manager, “Make sure you come back with something decent.”
What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!
The menacing skies, and the texture in the white surf.
If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?
I would have the headland in the background more central in the frame.
Stuart Graham shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.
Stuart Graham, Devon, England
Equipment and Settings
Canon 5DS R + Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG
4-stop ND gel filter
f/10, 2 sec, ISO 100