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Photowalk 70 - A Bad Case Of Wind

Last night I grabbed my Canon EOS 350d / Digital Rebel XT dSLR, jumped into the car and did a quick run to the beach, then back up towards Portsdown Hill with an eye towards a motorway shot and perhaps a pano.

However, the wind was blowing, the light was disappearing fast, and I didn't have much time...

Stokes Bay, Looking East
Stokes Bay, Looking East

There's two main beaches in Gosport - the more developed, touristy Lee-On-Solent, and my favourite, the much emptier Stokes Bay. No sand on either I'm afraid, but they both look across the Solent and can be the location for some great shots.

In the above photograph I'm looking away from the sunset - I saw the interesting clouds, and the stone slabs for foreground interest, set up my tripod and shot a 3 bracketed exposure burst for a Photomatix HDR in post processing.

Stokes Bay Looking West
Stokes Bay Looking West

I turned around and shot towards the Sunset. The light wasn't great, with little real contrast in the sky, so again I went for a bracketed exposure to turn into a HDR. Shooting "stony" beaches is always a bit dodgy, and this photo could do with some foreground interest, plus the top of the sky is pretty empty.

Portsmouth Harbour From Portsdown Hill
Portsmouth Harbour From Portsdown Hill

After visiting Stokes Bay, I headed back away from Gosport, through Fareham, and up onto Portsdown Hill, to take a photo looking down onto Portsmouth Harbour. The wind was blowing hard, so my tripod again got some use.

It looks ok large, but if you look at the original, it's very soft. Needs re-visiting!

M27 Looking West
M27 Looking West

Determined to have a crack at this months photo assignment on long exposures, I parked up near to a motorway bridge, and set my tripod and camera up near the edge. My technique was simple - I just set my ISO low, then closed down the aperture to really limit the amount of light entering the camera, shooting in Aperture Priority Mode. I think I ended up with about a 13 second exposure - and I just turned the shutter delay on, and took a few shots.

What I didn't take into account was the wind, and how wobbly my £6.99 Asda Tripod is with a heavier dSLR on it.... You can see how bad it was all moving by the light trails, which are really jagged!

Anyway, it was good piece of practice, and as I'm writing this I'm listening to Martin Bailey's latest podcast, which is all about taking great long exposure shots, so hopefully I'll get some inspiration for better shots, but I wanted to include this one in my stream to share my learning's.

Cheers, Rob.

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