<<< o >>>beach combing (south #2) 30 comments + add yours

This is the first of four shots that I took yesterday while walking along our windswept beach. Two were taken walking south (of which this is the second, hence the title), two are colour, and two are toned. This is probably my least favourite of the four, tomorrow's my next least favourite, the day after is my favourite, and the final shot is my wife's favourite (which, on past experience, probably means it's the best of the four ;-), but there isn't really a great deal to choose from in terms of my view of their quality. One of the things I was trying to show, though not so much with this one, was some indication as to how windy it was – there was a steady 40-45mph wind blowing in off the sea – but I'm not sure that I managed it all that successfully. Oh well, as landscapes go I'm quite pleased with all of them.

And I know that I said I was going to do more portraits, and I will, but having got these shots yesterday I do want to put them up. Besides which, this gives me four days to take some decent portraits which, I have to confess, I find much more difficult than landscapes.

Let me know what you think.

Oh, and I found out how to export my usage statistics to make them publicly available. I don't know if this will be of interest to anyone, but it's the sort of geeky thing that I find quite intriguing when I see it on other sites so thought I'd include it ;-) I've also included a link on the sidebar of my main archive page. Correction: Following quis's comment I checked out the referrer section on other sites that do this and lo and behold they're full of spurious sites that probably used a false referrer. So it's back to the drawing board with this one.

And finally, many thanks to everyone who's been voting for chromasia in the Best Photo/Art/Poetry Blog category in the Best of Blogs Awards 2004 – it's much appreciated and I'm currently in a respectable second place. If you'd still like to vote you can do so every day between now and the 14th :-)

capture date
focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
3.45pm on 8/1/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
40mm (64mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + piers [South pier] + fylde coast [scenic] + photo friday
comment by Peg K at 09:14 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

This is your least favorite?? Oh, my.

The shot is gorgeous. I love the shading, the depth, the sense of vastness as the sea meets the sky, and the texture of the water near the shore.

If this is the "worst" of the bunch, then we are all in for a real treat in the coming days!

comment by quis at 09:23 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

I'd take those statistics down right now. You will find that unscrupulous people will repeatly hit your site with a false referrer so that they come up in the "referers" section of the stats, hence getting themselves a link from your site and (more importantly) some google pagerank.

comment by JamesK at 09:42 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

I agree with Peg K. No matter how strong the wind is, I find it a difficult thing to capture on camera. If you can find some decent sand dunes then the spray from these on a windy day can be quite dramatic

comment by bob at 09:52 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

Outstanding image .. 4 things I LOVE about this image:

1. Foreground texture == smooth and ripply at the same time

2. Background - You know how much I love that area back there -- I really enjoy seeing more up-close shots of the rides. Having it all in the background like this is really wonderful.

3. I really like the sepia tones ... really well done.

4. Dog in the frame -- can never have too many dogs :-)

Lovely image, Dave -- one of my favorites -- something I'd hang in my house...

comment by Darrell at 09:56 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

Dave, another very nice shot, although as you realise it does not demonstate the windy conditions very well.

The mono/sepia is very effective and fits well with the silhouetting. A good decision to underexpose i think. DOF could be improved though as it is perhaps soft in near FG. Difficult in high winds I know but could a smaller aperture/longer exposure have been possible? Interested in practicalities.

I really wonder if a portrait format might have been a better choice here. It would show the FG off more effectively IMO and also lead the eye in to the person and then on to the Pleasure Beach. There just seems too much sand here as it is! You don't do many vertical images - why is that? Maybe you shoot with the montor view in mind?

Thanks for email.

Cheers for now

comment by Chelsea June at 10:34 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

Oh, I can't wait to see the colored versions of these photos. =)

comment by djn1 at 11:08 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

Peg: thanks.

quis: you're right. I just checked out on of the other sites that does this and found a load of spurious entries. I've got rid of the stats. Thanks for the heads-up.

bob: thanks.

Darrell: yes, a smaller aperture would probably have worked but it was so windy I decided I'd be better off with a much higher shutter speed than I'd normally use.

And you're probably right about taking this in portrait format too. I very rarely put anything up that isn't a landscape shot as I don't think it comes across all that well on a blog. Either you need to put up a disappointingly small shot, or you need to scroll. And if it's the latter I think it needs to be a shot that benefits from scrolling such as over and underground at ddoi.

Chelsea June: I'd be interested to hear how you think the colour shots compare.

comment by justin at 11:23 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

wonderful tones. the texture of the sand and the water is special. nice one!

comment by matt at 11:54 PM (GMT) on 9 January, 2005

The silhouetted figure and his dog really give this shot a sense of scale, depth, and mood. All of the space in the foreground make this very easy to look at and track to the horizon. One of my favorites.

comment by Jerome at 12:00 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

Re: verticals, I'm sorry, Dave, but I can't let you get away with that without a rebuttal. "Disappointingly small" is only relative to the impact of the content. The challenge lies in using the format to your advantage. :)

comment by Rob at 12:30 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

Excellent shot Dave, as always.
I think the toning gives the image justice.
I get the shivers just looking at it ;-). Cold, Wet & Windy.

comment by djn1 at 12:31 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

Jerome: the problem is one of resolution. If you post a portrait shot with the same vertical size as a landscape shot (522px on chromasia) it has less than half the resolution. You're right that some shots do work well at these sort of sizes (522 x 384px), but they lose a lot of detail, and this limits the kind of shot you can put up. So, most of the time, I tend to avoid taking portrait shots when I'm out shooting for chromasia.

comment by Jerome at 02:04 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

Thanks for the reply. I'm in agreement with you, 100%. You must choose the subject and compose for the format. I wouldn't photograph the same subject for a vertical composition as I would for a horizontal. It does limit the kind of shot you can put up. Therein lies the challenge.

comment by Frank at 02:49 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

I'm likin' this one, sir: it's very peaceful, and i like the confidence in the stride (at least, that's how it strikes me).

BTW, this week's Photo Friday theme, Silhouette, was suggested by yours truly, and if you don't have a better one in mind this would do nicely. It seems like an overlooked theme, kind of like as if there were no "puppies" or "eyes."

comment by ellehm at 02:52 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

great concept of scales, dimensions and space and wth a few elements only. Another example of a good job based on simplicity but vision.

comment by photographer52 at 02:59 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

The tone on this image is perfect for it. It really makes the textures stand out, yet gives the image a warm feel. Love your work by the way.

comment by myla at 06:24 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

This is beautiful, Dave.

comment by static at 09:09 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

when you first post a comment on a blog, you wonder if you should treat it like a call in radio show.

hi i'm a first time caller, long-time reader. anyhow.

the textures, quality of light and angle ar superb in this photograph. i doubt the color version could compare. though, i''ve no idea what colors would exist here. thanks for putting your heart into photography.

comment by Simon C at 09:27 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

This is a strong shot. Good foreground interest, decent background and the man and dog adding the final touch. Tone works well for a British winter seaside scene.

I feel that despite the wind you could have stopped down a little more. 1x the reciprocal of the focal length is usually ok. You often seem reluctant to use smaller apertures - a hangover from the G5 perhaps?

comment by peterv at 10:29 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

Excellent shot great composition, I agree with Simon C, I would stopped down more, was it that you were reluctnat to use a faster ISO? I can apprecite the the shutter speed you used.

FYI your site was down at about 6:00 AM GMT this morning cos that's when I usually log on. Chromasia and weetabix.....

comment by djn1 at 11:05 AM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

Thanks everyone.

Frank: good idea, I'll enter this one for Photo Friday. I did have something else in mind, but it looks like it's going to be a bit of a hectc week so I suspect I won't have time to shoot anything specific.

Simon C and peterv: I probably should have shot this at f/8.0 and either dropped the shutter speed to 1/125 or upped the ISO to 200. That said I don't find the slightly blurred foreground too much of an issue in that, IMO, it leads you into the rest of the picture without being distracting.

comment by btezra at 03:25 PM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

~what impresses me here is the POV, nice and low to the ground, it really opens up the frame for the viewer, giving me tons to take in and pick up on...the tone adds interest and appeal as well...I/eye look forward to the rest of the series~

comment by luminouslens at 05:27 PM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

This is beautiful. Nice and somber.

I have to say though, I get a feeling of calm from this, and was about to comment on that, when I saw you were trying to convey wind. I do suppose the wind is what's causing those ripples, but I wonder if the wind effect is one of those 'you had to be there' things, at least in a sweeping shot like this?

Anyway, whether I get the feeling of wind or not, this is a beautiful shot. It's definitely perfect for PhotoFriday and one of my favorites of the ones you've posted most recently.

comment by Jorge at 06:32 PM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

Can't wait to see the #1 shot.

comment by slurpee at 07:13 PM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

gorgeous. can't say that enough.

comment by picturegrl at 07:21 PM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said, but I couldn't leave without saying how beautiful this shot is. It seems a little sad though, sort of lonely. I suspect it will be a Noteworthy for this week's Photo Friday challenge. Nice work, as always.

comment by djn1 at 10:15 PM (GMT) on 10 January, 2005

Thanks everyone :-)

comment by Chloe at 12:49 AM (GMT) on 11 January, 2005

Stunning... Just gorgeous... I love the color tone and the subject...

comment by Jason Hendriks at 02:26 AM (GMT) on 11 January, 2005

Beautiful. And this is your least favourite???

comment by jane at 04:35 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

I like this very much Dave...real interesting. Taking the gaudiness out of the funfair and having it in the background...it looks industrial, amazing effect. I don't feel see or get the wind, I am sorry cos I sure know it was there!!!! It looks purposeful in a calm, I want to say businesslike (but industrial not suits and ties) way. It just makes me see that familiar view in a totally different way and I guess that is your giftedness as a photographer...... crawly crawl