A beginning

First light, Saundersfoot Bay

In a rash moment I recently signed up for WordPress’s Writing 101.  Writing, on a photography blog?  Yes, I did wonder if I knew what I was doing.   I suppose I wanted to get back to why I started this blog in the first place.  It wasn’t just to share photographs; I had Flickr and 500px for that.  When I started Focused Moments, back in April 2012, I was in the middle of my MA. Perhaps the blog was a way of creating my own original(ish) content when I was otherwise immersed in other people’s words.   (As my subject was Victorian Literature, there were a great many words!)

Over time, however, Focused Moments inexorably tended towards a photo-a-day kind of blog.  Before more touchy readers protest, I am not suggesting for a moment that there is anything wrong with that sort of blog, just that it’s not what I intended.  With Writing 101, which began yesterday, there are daily prompts.  The first one was to free write for 20 minutes.  Well, I didn’t feel like free writing about photography.   That prompt seems, to me, more appropriate to the creation of fiction.  So I have taken comfort in the challenge’s statement that we can be as free as we like in our interpretation of each prompt, and I have ignored it completely!  Instead, I have thought about beginnings.

Blue Hour, Saundersfoot Bay

It must be fairly obvious to anyone who is kind enough to stop by here from time to time that I like landscape photography.  For me, setting up somewhere and waiting for the light is a beautiful, and healing experience.   But I am not really a morning person, so most of my imagery is made at the end of the day.   However, last Friday Pete and I managed to get up for dawn.  At this time of year and at these latitudes, that is no mean feat.  Our alarms went off at 4am, and I can tell you that, as we were blearily dressing and mainlining caffeine, the planned adventure suddenly seemed far less appealing.

Once we were outside, however, all that changed.  There wasn’t much of a sunrise, but it didn’t matter.  We had the beach to ourselves.  A hush hung over the morning, broken only by the swoosh of the waves and the haunting cry of oyster catchers.   Homer’s ‘rosy fingered dawn’ delicately coloured the sky as a solitary fishing smack chugged out of the bay.  I could understand why many landscape photographers prefer this subtle time of day to the more spectacular sunset.   As my children grow, and need me less, one small but significant compensation is that opportunities to get out for daybreak will grow.  The beginning of a new phase in life will involve seeing more of the beginning of each new day. There’s a certain poetry in that.

Dawn, Saundersfoot Bay

 

To have made a beginning is half of the business.

-Horace

 

The child of the morning, rosy-fingered dawn, appeared.

-Homer

Sliding to the left

Wales

On Thursday, Pete and I enjoyed a six hour walk on the vast, low-tide beach of Saundersfoot Bay, returning via the Coastal Path along the cliffs.  Although the sky was overcast and it rained intermittently, I could see why Pembrokeshire is celebrated for its light.  I wanted to capture the almost-sliver of the diffused light on the sluggish sea.

My first post from Wales was all about colour, although even there I nudged the saturation and vibrancy sliders to the left, because the colours in the RAW file were almost too rich to be believed!   More and more, these days, I find myself wanting to desaturate images.  For  some beautiful images that exemplify sliding to the left, try Asmita Kapadia’s website.

Wales

An adventure with rainbows

Wales

f/11, 16mm, ISO 100, .5″

We’re just back from a short trip to Wales.  I have a lot of images to upload but thought I’d start with the most recent, from last night. We found a super sunset spot for Lilly, our camper van, looking over Freshwater West beach, Pembrokeshire.  I was so busy looking West that I almost didn’t notice a rainbow appearing behind us.

Wales

f/11, 16mm, ISO 100, .8″

It just got better and better as the setting sun turned the clouds pink.  By the end, I’d had a good soaking (well, you can’t have rainbows without rain) and I was very glad of my camera’s weather seals.  We loved what we saw of Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire and have already agreed to go back as soon as we can.

Wales

f/11, 16mm, ISO 100, 1.6″

By the way, the small triangular structure in the first shot is a seaweed drying hut.  More on that anon.