19th December Kite Surfers

Challenging but rewarding light as always at Lancing beach in the winter. Most of the kite surfers were just finishing up as I got down there which is a double blessing. The beach is a non-stop, 360°, variable light, photo opportunity. When looking through the view finder there is a constant sense that just out of sight to one side, 5 marmosets, 2 pangolin and a leopard are performing The Madness of King George by Alan Bennet whilst wearing roller skates.

Equally when there’s 16 kite surfers there’s a much greater chance I’m pointing the camera at the ‘wrong’ one at any given time.

All images copyright © J.Sears 2020. All rights reserved.

Grey Days

This week I’ve twice trudged down to the beach to catch the sunrise & both times been thwarted by a bank of cloud on the horizon blocking the sunrise. Sometimes you just have to make do.

On the day that ill health prevented me from getting to the beach of course the skies were blue gold & streaked horizon to horizon with dramatically lit cloud structures.

All images copyright © J.Sears 2020. All rights reserved.

Project Moonshot

It’s not just lying, under-educated, elite spaffers & chancers who can launch excitingly named projects in a misguided effort to sound effective.

Since I hadn’t taken any night time tripod shots for close to a decade it was time to dig out the tripod! Then search for the quick shoe in the loft, the garage & the internet. Then email Vanguard to ask what dimensions or part number shoe my ancient tripod requires & back to the internet. Wait 3 days & fit quick shoe.

  • Camera – check
  • Tripod – check
  • Coat – check
  • Darkness – check
  • Tripod Quick Shoe – check (eventually).
  • Darkness again – check.

My first attempt was at just after 6am in September I think. Fortunately I hadn’t crawled out of bed specially for it because the result was laughable. I hadn’t found how to switch to spot metering yet & was struggling with my vision so I was trying to rely on autofocus. The results were horrible. The one useful thing that came out of it was I got a really good picture of how dirty my lens was. The results were so bad I didn’t bother saving them.

My second attempt was an early evening on 1st December. Having discovered the button for switching the meter evaluation mode I was fully primed. The high contrast of the full moon against the black of night defied the capabilities of my crappy old eyes though. So I was struggling to focus. The light meter was suggesting very long exposures it just couldn’t seem to meter just for the moon even in spot mode.

The exposure meter suggested this. The completely over-exposed moon is not what I had in mind.
Manually setting exposure. Still not what I was hoping for,

Switching to manual yielded this at f20 1/4s ISO 100

Again not satisfactory at all.

The moon decided to bugger off behind some clouds & I was chilly & needed to make dinner.

I decided to come back to moonshots until I had performed a little research, but my initial thoughts were to try longer exposures with a neutral density filter.

A few days later after getting some great kite surfer pics I was trudging home. There was a partial moon high in the sky above some dramatic white clouds.

Nice daytime moon
Zooming in on the daytime moon
After some processing of the RAW file.

I am very pleased with the end result.

All images copyright © J.Sears 2020. All rights reserved.

November Gallery

A collection of images from November 2020

All images copyright © J.Sears 2020. All rights reserved.

October shores

A kite surfer hangs high in the air above the surf

I don’t know if there is something geographically special about Lancing beach that makes it a favourite for kite surfers or if it is due to offshore activity regulations or just availability of car park & utilisation etc.. but when the wind blows you know the water will be filled with kite surfers. Lancing Kite Surfing club meets here so perhaps that is reason enough.

Continue reading “October shores”

SM.262

A small fishing boat SM.262

SMS.262 is one of the fishing boats that leave the flag markers along the coast each morning, presumably marking the location of pots or nets?

I love this muted picture of the boat with the large ship in the distance.

A small fishing boat called SM.262 with a large container ship in the distant background
Fishing boat SM.262 faithful tonal reproduction

To me there was a nostalgic feel to it, although it is very much a working boat. So the perfect opportunity to try a little artistic experimentation. The first two use various luminance & colour curves in RawTherapee to ‘age’ the image. The third is produced using an open source haldCLUT tonal profile in RawTherapee (an open source RAW image processor) simulating real film stock.

All images copyright © J.Sears 2020. All rights reserved.