Photos shot by Nigel during the South Devon Coasts photography course, 16th Sept 2023
Bigbury-on-Sea, Burgh Island and Bantham, south Devon
Click on any image to launch a slide show
What a tough day this was for the South Devon Coasts photography course! Through much of the preceding week the weather forecast had promised us a dry, though mostly cloudy day. At the last minute that changed to a mix of grey skies and occasional rain. What we got was almost continuous rain. Admittedly, it was mostly light rain, but it was persistent, and even when it looked as though it might be just about to stop, it just kept on coming!
So of course, things were a little challenging for great photography. Fortunately, the rain was never hard enough to make us have to stop and take shelter, but nevertheless finding good subject matter under the dull grey skies and poor light was not easy.
Through the course of the day, however, I was able to introduce and demonstrate a number of techniques that worked well in the conditions, including:
- The incorporation of reflections into the images to increase interest and apparent depth;
- Use of neutral density graduated filters (ND grads) to darken the sky and lighten the landscape, to help make the cloud patterns become more visible;
- Incorporating the tripod into much of the photography, to account for the low light levels, enable a large depth of field and make the use of a slow shutter speed easy;
- The use of a slow shutter speed (in unison with a tripod) to blur the flow of water around rocks. Made possible throughout much of the day due to the low light levels, this technique really came into its own towards the end of the day, when quite long exposures made it possible to completely blur flowing water into rather ethereal sheets of white. As daytime moved into dusk, so the images also became increasingly blue, the product of indirect lighting as the sun sank below the horizon (though always hidden by cloud).
So overall, quite a challenging day, but one with some good, interesting and quite artistic results. I hope you’ll enjoy the small number of images that I shot while demonstrating the techniques, and which I’ve included in the gallery above.