When that pre-conceived shot doesn’t happen

Bruce Little / landscape, photography / / 1 Comment / Like this

Having checked the tide times and sunrise time and angle earlier in the week, I thought that the best course of action this weekend would be to head inland to Turf Lock near Exeter. I had a pre-conceived shot in my head of the boats moored near the Turf Lock Hotel reflected in the still waters of the canal against a fiery sunrise sky. The weather forecast was looking touch and go all week, and on Friday night the forecast for Saturday morning looked bad (and that turned out to be a good forecast), with Sunday looking the best bet of the weekend. Come Saturday night the forecast had changed to overcast with the chance of rain so my hopes fell.

However, I woke up on Sunday morning at 5:30 and thought “what the hell”. I got out of bed and headed towards Exeter. Half way there I ran into rain and added “am I doing?” as a suffix to my previous exclamation. However, I persevered and got to Turf lock half an hour before sunrise, found a viewpoint clear of reeds, set up the tripod and waited. There was a clear sky above me and the earlier rain was staying to the North. Maybe I would be lucky. A bank of cloud on the horizon meant that it would be a while before the sun lit the scene.

As the sun rose, it became clear that my pre-conceived image wouldn’t happen. There was barely a colour in the sky to offset the steely grey. I fired off a few shots and liked the cold blue look in the LCD on the camera back. Then, as the water was dead still, I thought I’d break out the 10 stop ND filter and do a long exposure. I use a B+W 110 which is known to have a colour cast on the warm side of neutral so maybe the movement of the clouds and a bit of warmth might just work.

The resuting images are below. I’ve left the coldish cast of the “standard” shot as I prefer it over a more neutral grey. The long exposure has had a none too subtle saturation boost in Lightroom but little other processing. Unfortunately the “dead still” water wasn’t, and that manifests itself in a slight movement of the boats in the 3 minute exposure. Neither of these images will find their way into my portfolio, but I think that they’re worthy of an airing.

Sunrise at Turf Lock. Standard exposure.
Sunrise at Turf Lock, 3 minute exposure

1 Comment

  1. Ann Courtney  —  3rd April 2011 at 18:04

    Definitely worthy of an airing. Mellow feel to the scene.


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