A Positive Start to 2017

Stay at Home or Risk It?

For me, 2016 was a good year for photography.  I got out a lot with the camera and when I reviewed My 5 Favourite Images of 2016 I was very pleased with the results.  However, when I went out and Said Goodbye to 2016 in Dorset, the results from my final shoot of the year weren't exactly epic.

One thing I don't do is the let the disappointment of the last shoot put me off the next.  Especially when it was the weather or conditions that stifled my creativity.   When 2017 came around I was soon looking for the next available slot to get out there with the camera.  To say that I was keen would have been an understatement.

It was this keenness to get out there that largely overrode my better judgement of the weather forecast and just risk it.  After all, weather forecasts can sometimes be pessimistic, and Dawlish Warren beach is just down the road.  What else was I going to do?  Sleep?

Being Optimistic

Despite the dubious weather forecast I headed off to Dawlish Warren beach, one of My 5 Favourite Landscape Photography Locations in Devon.  Sunrise on the coast can often yield dramatic results, despite weather forecasts, so I drove there feeling optimistic.

However, even the strongest sense of optimism isn't enough to change the weather or light available.  I did take a number of frames, adjusting composition and exposure times, but sometimes the magic just isn't there.    I feel this image is probably the best of the morning.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 16-35 f/4 at 29mm, f/8, 205 seconds, ISO 100, Lee Filters polariser, Little Stopper and ND Grad.  Processed in Lightroom CC (including 4:5 crop).

A Wasted Trip?

So you may ask me if it was a wasted trip?  Should have I stayed in the warmth of my bed for an extra hour?  Well, no, of course not.  Regular readers of my blog will know often I talk about the value in Practising The Craft of Photography.  Though the conditions weren't what I hoped for, I want to make sure that when the conditions are amazing I'm prepared! 

Being prepared means a couple of things to me.  Firstly, I need to know my equipment.  Can I set up my camera correctly and even more importantly, can I adjust the settings quickly to support changes in light and conditions?  I also need to have my "photographic brain" fully engaged and exercised.  I took a small break from landscape photography last year and it was amazing how quickly I had become rusty with finding and setting up compositions.

So while the image isn't going to win me any awards, my time at Dawlish Warren was still time well spent.  The camera was out of the bag and I was pushing buttons, moving dials, checking histograms and using filters.  I was also thinking a lot about compositions.   What will my image look like if I move up, or left a bit, what if I change my lens?  I was exercising my brain in preparation for the day when I do get those epic conditions.

So how has your 2017 started?  Have you been out with the camera?  Let me know in the comments below.