Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward


Over the years I have taken many photographs that in my opinion have been rewarding. This one of Talacre Lighthouse is on my lounge wall in extra-large size 120 x 80 cm (47” x 31” approx). Admittedly it breaks the Rool of Thurds, but I like it and that’s the important thing.

Talacre Sunset

However this is not really my Reward photograph. The one below, a sunset taken on Frith Beach, Prestatyn, probably qualifies more as one I would reward myself for. Mainly because I spent some time waiting for the sunset to happen.

In order to obtain pictures by means of the hand camera it is well to choose your subject, regardless of figures, and carefully study the lines and lighting. After having determined upon these watch the passing figures and await the moment in which everything is in balance; that is, satisfied your eye. This often means hours of patient waiting. My picture, “Fifth Avenue, Winter” is the result of a three hours’ stand during a fierce snow-storm on February 22nd 1893, awaiting the proper moment. My patience was duly rewarded. Of course, the result contained an element of chance, as I might have stood there for hours without succeeding in getting the desired pictures. – Alfred Stieglitz – “The Hand Camera” (1897)

I know I have shown you this photograph before but here’s the background behind it. Standing on a cold wind-swept beach on the 25 November 2014 I was waiting for the sunset. The cloud formation and the way the sun was dipping down behind the mountains seemed to suggest that it might be a really good one. But like all weather events you can never really tell what you are going to get until it happens. Previously I’ve seen what looked like an amazing sunset only for it to fizzle out in seconds, never delivering the promised light show. I’m sure you’ve been in that situation as well, waiting for something to happen and then facing disappointment when it doesn’t?

Meanwhile I was getting colder and colder. November on our wind-swept beaches is not a comfortable position to be in, trust me, I’ve done it often enough. Sure I was equipped to be out there but on the exposed beach it’s amazing how you can get cold really fast, especially if you are not moving around too much.

After an hour on the beach it was looking like maybe I had got this one wrong. The sun had almost dipped behind the mountains and there was only a small red band of colour running along the horizon. Not much of a sunset at all. Time to pack up and go home.

Ffrith Beach sunset

But then it suddenly changed, the lower part of the sky nearest the horizon started to glow red and purple, then those cloud formations started to pick up the colour. I just knew then that this one was going to be a cracker. OK! I was cold but there was absolutely no way I was leaving the beach until I had captured every aspect of this sunset. Best of all I had the beach to myself, no one there, perfect. I was right, as you can see, As an aside I haven’t seen a sunset like this since I was on the Falkland Islands, and that was a long time ago. This sunset lasted a good twenty minutes before the sky finally lost most if it’s colour and all that red disappeared. That’s why I class this one as one of the most rewarding photographs I’ve taken in a while.

16 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward

  1. Becky March 5, 2015 / 18:28

    This is absolutely beautiful! I would consider a photo like that to be very rewarding too! Nice work🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. petspeopleandlife March 6, 2015 / 01:40

    These two photos are superb, each in its own way. To me, it’s not a big deal- the rule of thirds thing. Aren’t rules made to be broken? And sometimes the main subject simply looks good if it’s in the center of the photo. The sunset was well worth the wait. I know that you have been a thousand times grateful that you waited those extra minutes. I don’t think you’ll ever find another sunset that spectacular again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Hardisty March 8, 2015 / 12:49

      I thought we were going to have another one couple of nights back but it fizzled out really quickly Yvonne, Absolute chaos in my house at the moment. The builders are in and will be with us or a week or so as we carry out a lot of renovations. We’re working with bricks and mortar so there is dust everywhere and the power has to be cut now and again. so I might go quiet for a while till we get all the work done.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. petspeopleandlife March 8, 2015 / 18:43

    Good luck with the renovations and try not to breathe the dust.🙂

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  4. darwinontherocks March 9, 2015 / 14:15

    This sunset is glorious ! It was worth waiting a bit😉

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    • Mike Hardisty March 13, 2015 / 15:04

      I don’t know how I missed your comment so sorry for not replying sooner. Sometimes you wait and nothing happens, that can be disappointing, especially on a cold winters day. But when you get a great one it’s well worth that wait

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      • darwinontherocks March 14, 2015 / 08:12

        Don’t worry, it happens to me as well😉 If nothing happens it can be disappointing, true, it’s a bit like that for northern lights as well😉

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  5. stephenransome March 24, 2015 / 09:19

    Very nice indeed Mike. You were certainly rewarded big time….It was a nice surprise to see you last night too……cheers

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    • Mike Hardisty April 23, 2015 / 15:41

      Thank you. I’m glad you liked them…

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