First, the location. Well it’s as about as photogenic and evocative a scene as you can find. Not only is it hard to get to and after miles of twisty single track roads, it feels like major achievement to actually get there. It has wonderfully smooth, sand polished slate outcrops (conveniently graphical), but not just a few, hundreds of them! The incoming tides protrude towards you at different speeds (I assume due to the width and particular geology creating drag on the water), which offers richness to the photographic opportunities when it comes to movement, (incoming and receding water creates different forms and textures). It also has the advantage of being west facing, and here comes its one aberration, it’s exceeding tricky to work with the setting sun at this time of year to create a balanced composition. Yes I could go towards the end of September, when the sun would be at the end of the beach, but then again it would probably be too easy and predictable (I can’t anyway).anyway, the graphic angles take your eye in the wrong direction and it feels like your making two separate images every time you direct your attention towards the drama.
You should have seen me in this 5 minute period before the sun popped out beneath the cloud bank, knowing that it would illuminate the scene perfectly, knowing that I was going to have only one shot at this location, literally (30 seconds of illumination to be accurate) and knowing that I had to find a composition that would balance every element and that I would have the opportunity like this again. As you can imagining I hurdled the outcrops faster than a world champion and by the time I found this interesting, moderately graphic foreground rock I was totally soaked, breathless and almost ready to make the best of the elements before me. Anyway I made this image and walked back to the car dripping wet but happy.
Now the second part to this image is the processing, well as you can see, it’s a thorny customer. The dynamic range is massive and processing a balance believable single image was (and is) fiddly. Well as you can see it’s a high contrast movement image. The medium length of exposure has taken just a tad too much movement out of the water than I’m happy with, but the imbalance in the centre of the image needed most of the attention. Anyway, even considering the technical post processing challenges, for me this image works. Yes if you’re a pixel pushing, 100% viewing photographer, then you’re going to point out that I’ve lost detail in the shadows and the dynamic range isn’t working, but if it makes you happy to tell me then cool, bring it on! And I see this may should like an excuse, But for me photography is fundamentally about how the images stimulate our primitive deep brain not the frontal hemisphere.