Always Have a Plan B
My recent trip to Porth Nanven in Corwnall was a very successful one and I managed to capture a new image for my portfolio. The weather gods had been kind to me that evening and the conditions were ideal for that location. With the weather looking reasonably settled for the next couple of weeks I hoped I could build on that success and get a few more portfolio shots at some locations I had been itching to get back to.
As is always the way with landscape photography though, things didn't go exactly to plan.
My first and until recently, my only visit to Trevose Head, was a very successful one. On my previous visit had managed to get a number of great images of the the lighthouse in a variety of different lighting conditions using varying exposure lengths. It was one of those trips out with the camera where things just seem to go right for you.
However, even though I had some quality images from that trip, I still wanted to go back and try and get an even better image of the lighthouse and cliffs in even better, more dramatic light.
When I arrive at Trevose Head on my most recent visit things were looking good except that the wind was howling! This is hardly a surprise as Stincking Cove (where I was going to shoot from) isn't exactly sheltered so a bit of wind is to be expected. Not to be deterred though I got setup and got shooting.
It soon became obvious though that the wind was much stronger than my last visit. Even with my heavy duty tripod, and a relatively short exposure time, the camera was getting a battering from the wind. It was looking unlikely that I would get a stable image. There was no chance that I would be getting the Little Stopper out! This was a shame as the light was looking good. Time for plan B!
On my walk over to Stincking Cove I had noticed there was some thrift flowering on the cliff edge. It was a lot more sheltered over there so I decided to head back and shoot something different. I hadn't planned to go to Trevose Head and shoot the thrift but persevering with wind wasn't going to get me anywhere.
While the shot below might not be one for the portfolio, it's a pleasing image and I'm glad that I took it rather than I just went home feeling glum that I hadn't taken any decent photographs.
A very similar thing happened to me when I went to Hartland Quay about a week later. This time it was almost the reverse though. I had gone to Hartland Quay to photograph the thrift only to change my mind and shoot Screda Point. Unlike my trip to Trevose Head though, I was at least able to capture an image of the scene that I had originally thought about.
The image below of thrift and the bay at Screda Point is pleasing enough but forecasted cloud coverage wasn't there and so I feel the sky lacks interest. The colour and light are there, but it's just missing that something extra in the sky. Realising that things weren't going to improve, I decided to go for plan B!
For my plan B image, I decided to put on my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and go in tighter to focus more on the dramatic rocks of Screda Point. Though the sky still lacks the cloud coverage I would have ideally liked, I do prefer this image over my image of the thrift. I like shooting long exposures on the coast so maybe I'm slightly biased towards this image, but I like the lines of the rocks on the beach, the pastel colours of the sky and the simplicity of the image.
Unlike my trip to Trevose Head though, I probably would have left Hartland Quay happy with the photo of the thrift. However, I'm still glad I had a plan B!
So do you always have a plan B? Do you decide before you go somehwere or wing when you get there? Let me know in the comments below.