Practical Photography coastal long exposures feature part 1
West Wittering sea defences:
Olympus OM-D EM-5 mkII with M.Zuiko 12-40mm Pro at 12mm (24mm) – 6 seconds, ISO 100, f/8, high res shot, using a tripod and circular ND filters and CPL. Post production – Exposure blend two photos and remove some of the sea defences making the last column stand alone.
West Wittering is an area I had previously visited with friends, although I had a camera with me at the time, I had no tripod so was limited with my use when it came to long exposures. Having seen so many compositions dotted along the coastline I knew I had to revisit and spend a day here.
That’s just what I did, waiting for some clear and calm conditions with some tide times that were workable for during the day.
The difficulty with this beach however isn’t the compositions or conditions to shoot in but the quantity of people about. It’s a very popular destination with some size-able cities close by and with such good weather with bright sunshine and the odd cloud, clearly this wasn’t the best idea.
Restricted now with the hundreds of people walking up and down the shore line I opted to wait. Waiting until sunset, as this was shot during winter, sunset was only 5pm and once the sun started to drop and the temperature with it the beaches emptied. It was time to go and play! Unfortunately, by this point the tide was heading out but this didn’t stop the opportunities.
Instead the beach became a giant mirror of patterns where the slow tide receded leaving the patterns of waves in the sand. Having contended with people in the frame the next problem was a very low sun and plenty of highlights reflecting off the now mirror like sand. To overcome the issue, I have had to exposure blend two photos in order to balance the upper third of the photo where the featureless bright sky sits and the darker patterns in the sand.