On the Beach In Black And White


This week it’s going to be a quick one with just two photographs. Circumstances and time have caught up with me. But hopefully you will like the photographs. Sunday afternoon saw me at Talacre, I managed to break away for a couple of hours to meet up with a group of photographers who, like me, are into long exposure photography.

Now you might be asking “what is he talking about”?. So let me explain in the most simplest of terms. By sticking an extremely dark filter in front of the camera lens. I can force the camera sensor into computing that I am effectively photographing my subject at night, even although it’s broad daylight. Therefore the camera computes that to get the right exposure for the photograph it need to take a lot longer to keep the shutter open. How long depends on a few factors, but suffice to say I was looking at exposures of between 2 seconds and 70 seconds throughout the day. To ensure the photograph is not blurred I am using a tripod and a remote control.

I am lucky that I can use Live View with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 and watch the photograph develop on the rear screen. I let the camera do all the work. But other photographers have to calculate the exposure using charts, or these days, usually an app on their smart phone.

He [Brassai] times his long exposures by smoking cigarettes – when his smoke was out, he closed the shutter. – John G. Morris

First photograph. Taken as the tide was coming in. Even at two seconds you can see that the sea is beginning to be smoothed out. It wasn’t particularly rough that day, with almost no wave action to speak of.

Talacre Lighthouse

This second photograph is a seventy second exposure. It’s more noticeable in the clouds now as they have started to streak which is a characteristic of long exposures.

A snapshot steals life that it cannot return. A long exposure [creates] a form that never existed. – Dieter Appelt

It was a bit of a grey day and the colours weren’t that fantastic so to get more effect i have converted to Black and White using NIK Silver Efex.

Talacre Lighthouse

So that’s it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed the photographs – Mike

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27 thoughts on “On the Beach In Black And White

  1. I did enjoy, and I always appreciate when you tell how you capture your photos, your technique or settings. I don’t have the patience for that and have tried to figure out what kind of photographer I am. I think I love ah ha moments and do the best to capture those. I love following your knowledge Mike. As time moves along I hope to do more experimentation. That in itself is a hobby. Have a good week.

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    1. More experimentation tonight Donna. meeting up with a group to try to capture motion. Balloons popping, party poppers etc…and then when it gets dark, light trails and first experiments with orbs and light painting. Should be fun.

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  2. Nice images, and good use of live view. Amazing you were at Talacre last week. I was there when the tide was out, and also I see Cheryl Hamer, another photographer I admire, was there with a client. must be Wales-week 🙂

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    1. Of the two I prefer the first one Jude. Somehow though, I never seem to get them just right. There’s still things that could be better about this one, especially where the waves are washing up on the beach. I never get the timing right for those.

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  3. Love both of these shots. They’re so beautifully atmospheric. Of course Appelt is right when he says long exposure creates something that never existed, but it sure makes beautiful pictures! Was it you who said to me “my photo my vision” – it’s been enormously helpful.
    Alison

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    1. That was me, Alison. I’m not a photo journalist so I can edit my photographs. If I want to do crazy HDR then I will, Telephones lines in the way, that’s why we have Photoshop, although I must say quite often I’ll just leave as is.

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      1. Yes me too – sometimes I’ll leave as is, sometimes remove annoying ugly stuff that detracts from the real story of the shot. Your saying was a great help to me. I’ve always used photoshop. It was one of the earliest things I learned after basic camera settings. Your saying helped me feel comfortable with it. Mostly I just want the photo to convey what it was I saw, and dang it all I didn’t actually see those annoying power lines!

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    1. The colour ones were dull and flat and grey anyway, Yvonne. It wasn’t the nicest of days when we met up, so black and white seemed the obvious choice, although you can see there’s more grey than black

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  4. The images, like the lighthouse, have staying power and has been on my mind for days now. Agree with Yvonne that B&W is special and combined with Appelt’s quote makes me wonder about its history and story. Thanks too for the info on filters and exposure.

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    1. Helen, the lighthouse was built in 1776 to warn ships that they were entering between the Dee and Mersey estuaries both of which are very close to each. It fell into disuse and was decommissioned in 1884. Later it became a privately owned residential property, although no one lives in it. At low tide you can walk out to the lighthouse and walk all the way around it..

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