Saturday, 10 July 2010

Image of the Week - Welcombe Mouth

I was searching my archive for suitable pictures for a request this week when I discovered a batch of images from Welcombe Mouth I had made almost 3 years ago. Nothing unusual in this of course, except these images were still unprocessed and had been left, forgotten in my pending queue. How had that happened I wondered?


Well, I am not entirely sure, but I was using two cameras that day. As well as my then usual Nikon D2x DSLR I was also testing out an old Kodak DCS Pro 14n that I had recently bought as a backup to my Nikon. Operating two cameras together in fading dusk light can be difficult at the best of times, but I also knew the Kodak has a tendency to throw up different colour casts across the frame with certain lens/lighting conditions. On inspection none of the Kodak images actually exhibited these casts and indeed I was very impressed with the quality of the images, but I wonder if this might have been the reason I had initially put off processing this batch of images.

Welcombe Mouth is a small beach tucked away on the most southerly point of the North Devon coast before Cornwall. This section of coast is part of the Hartland Heritage Coast that runs from Westward Ho! in Devon down to Bude in Cornwall; a notorious rocky coast exposed to North Atlantic storms that has claimed many sea faring vessels.

I remember that evening there was a beautiful dusk light and the straight lines of rocks leading out to sea with their surfaces smoothed from the constant pounding of sea, made for some perfect seascape photography.

In this image, from my Nikon, I had placed the brightest part of the sky to the right largely out of frame with just a hint showing. This meant that the pink light from the sky was reflected off the rocks, wet from the outgoing tide, giving the foreground greater interest than if I had simply pointed the camera at the brightest part of the sky. A 30 second exposure was required in the low light which has helped smooth out the sea. Although you cannot see it at this size, I was amused to note that a few of the molluscs on the rocks had wandered about a little during the exposure.

If anyone is wondering what the Kodak images looked like, this one below was my favourite. It's not as good as my main image but that is down to the composition and the fact it was exposed before the dusk light reached it's best. The Kodak proved to be very good for long exposure low light work.


I've not visited Welcombe Mouth since then but my discovery this week has reminded me what I have been missing and hopefully I can make another visit during my next trip to the area in a few weeks.