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Into the sun?

For so long now I've been preferentially (perhaps habitually is a more appropriate word...) shooting my coastal landscapes with my lens pointing towards the sunset or sunrise light and colours that I'd almost forgotten about alternative points - and fields - of view.

Felpham seafront on one of the shorter days of the year

Nikon D810, 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor at 14mm, ISO 64, 20 seconds at f11, tripod

5th December 2015

Moving to the south coast has forced me to consider shooting at 180 degrees to the vivid drama of dawns and sunsets. With the sun rising and setting further and further north now compared with the winter months, the spectacular colours above the beaches and on the horizon of the English Channel have migrated beyond the towns and hills behind me, to be replaced by a more muted colour palette in the skies and on the waters to the south.

Felpham seafront on one of the longer days of the year

Nikon D810, 50mm f1.4 Nikkor, ISO 200, 25 seconds at f8, 10-stop ND, tripod

13th May 2016

At first I was frustrated by seeing the fantastic cloudscapes and colours of early summer sunsets or sunrises - but being unable to include the drama of the skies into the frame without masses of inland distractions littering the foreground and mid-ground of the shot.

However, in my frustration, I was missing not only the discreet compositional simplicity right behind me, but also the beautiful pastel colours that define the light opposite the rising or setting sun... Gone are magenta, coral, gold and vermilion... To be replaced by jade, rose, aqua and white. Balancing the exposure is made easier by the reduced dynamic range of the scene and exposing to the right (something I always have to avoid when shooting a wide dynamic range scene) has provided opportunities to create some lovely, high-key pastel scenes.

The results are sequences of simple, peaceful, almost empty images - and I am really enjoying producing them.

Nikon D810, 50mm f1.4 Nikkor, ISO 200, 20 seconds at f8, 10-stop ND, hand-held

13th May 2016

Sometimes we can be both motivated and pleasantly surprised by the simplest and subtlest of incentives - and, as the Buddha said, we learn to see the good despite the circumstances.

Nikon D810

50mm f1.4 Nikkor

ISO 200

25 seconds


10-stop ND


13th May 2016

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