Family photography…

I popped back home over Easter, one of the biggest joys being the chance to visit the beach again. I suggested that my Dad and I go on a photography trip one morning, but, as usually happens when I go home, the morning was cloudy and cold. Having been brought up to brave the elements anyway, we both went down to the beach in the rain.

The shot I wanted was a very slow shutter speed image of the sea washing in and out. One of my Flickr contacts, Rob Cherry, takes stunning shots of that style of my home beach. (You can see his work here.) I had thought it would be dark enough, but even on my lowest ISO and f/22 my shutter speed wasn’t slow enough. In short, I’ll need to buy a neutral density filter – one that reduces the amount of light getting into the camera – if I want to take those kind of shots. Instead I captured the scene as it was…

and my Dad…

2 comments to Family photography…

  • Hi David,
    your message on twitter led me to your page and I read the story of the light on the beach. Although the scene with cloudy skies appear to be low on light, remember that the sky can work as a huge soft-box. As you noted yourself, a neutral density filter can help reducing the light. Keep in mind that a polarisation filter is also neutral and ‘robbs’ you of 1 stop.

    A filter like that has an active and a ‘sortof’ inactive position. In fact it’s always active but the results are not always noticable ;) In the active position you’ll find the cloudy sky gets more contrast-rich (maybe even a little threatening) which puts more atmosphere in the picture. Did you enhance the vignetting? I like that in this picture.

    By the way… try the picture of your father in a hard black and white (and get rid of the pier that seems attached to his nose…) ;) Then crop the right side so the line of his jacket ends up in the corner. Little things like that in the compo add a lot of power to a picture. But that’s just my opinion :)

    grtz from Mars
    (short for Marcel)

  • A polarising filter would also work – I perhaps should have mentioned that as another option to also give some pop to the sky. I did enhance the vignetting, I use vignetting in quite a lot of my shots.

    Interestingly I originally tried a hard b&w edit of the shot of my Dad with a harsher crop, and ended up opting for the above. I’ll give it another go though!

    Thanks for the thoughts Marcel :)

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