Scenic Outlook – Brief Moments

What with one thing and another I’ve not had as much time over recent weeks to get out with the camera, but on this particular December weekend I have an empty slot on a Sunday morning. Friday’s weather report says that Saturday will be rainy all day but that Sunday will be cloudy with sunny intervals. Right then, decision made my cousin Steve and I make arrangements Friday afternoon to meet up early Sunday morning at Winchelsea beach. Saturday comes and goes with not a drop of rain all day, I look at the weather report on my HTC…Sunday=rain. Oh well, I decide that I’ll go out anyway however the weather should turn out. I text Steve to see if he’s still up for a meet and a moment later he replies to say that he too is up for getting out whatever the weather. Sunrise is about 7.40am so I decide to set my alarm for 6am.

5.35am my phone rings. ” Are you up Dave” says an all too alert sounding Steve. “I am now” I reply, trying to open my eyes. “I woke up early so I got up and now I’m about to head out the door” Steve said, “OK, I’ll meet you there” I say, fumbling about trying to find my things. Right, I’d better get a move on.

6 seconds iso200 @f22, ND4 filter, Grey Grad

It’s still well before sunrise when we meet but not to worry, it’ll give us plenty of time to find our spot and get our gear set up. It may be December but it’s not too cold (a decent 8 degrees Celsius) but we’re still wearing our thermal hats and gloves as the cool breeze would soon take the heat out of us. Both of us had gone with the intention of getting some long exposure shots so I decided I would dust off the ol’ ND and grey grad filters in order to try and get the perfect in-camera exposure, rather than bracketing for HDR. We both got started while it was still pretty dark with not a hint of sunlight in the sky. Our exposures were unfiltered at this point with individual shots taking around two minutes at f16. There was plenty of movement in the waves and with such a long exposure they were all turned to a rather pleasing mist. Great, all we need now is a dash of sunlight, but it wasn’t until around an hour or so after we arrived that the first glow of orange would appear in the sky. By this time our two minute exposure times had been reduced dramatically, enough to prevent the long exposure times I wanted to create some misty water. I grabbed my ND4 filter which got my shutter speed back down to around 6 seconds but by now the sky was getting just a little too bright, so out came a dark grey grad in order to even things out a little. The result is the shot you see above, 6 seconds f22 at ISO200 ND4 and dark grad. I clicked off a number of shots in quick succession and found that I had the best results when the shutter was tripped when the wave came closest to me, that way I would get the impression of the water rushing back to the sea. The fiery orange glow lasted only 10 minutes or so and then it was gone. After an hour of waiting we had just a brief moment of action before the sky turned grey. Still, we both had shots we were pleased with and if nothing else happened we would still go home happy.

The waves were still crashing and with the tide retreating it wasn’t long before a few more posts began to be revealed from beneath the waves. The ideal light may have gone but there was still some opportunities to be had with the water and with the filters still attached my shutter speed had settled to a constant 2 seconds, more than enough to record movement in the waves. Again I waited for the water to come in before releasing the shutter and was quite pleased with how the water looked around the posts when I checked on the LCD. And so it was that for another brief moment we got a few more shots we were pleased with. Happy that we had made the best of what was made available to us we packed up our gear and headed to a nearby cafe for a much welcomed cooked breakfast.

2 seconds iso200 @f22, ND4 filter, Grey grad.

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