Blog, HDR, Landscapes

Old Buoy at Birling Gap

Last Tuesday I met up with my cousin Steve and his friend Graham for a spot of photography down at Birling Gap. The tide was set to be going out during our evening and so would maximise our opportunity for getting some nice shots both before and after sunset. The weather had different plans though and was changing every couple of hours, though this was not a problem as it had the potential to produce a lot of different lighting situations for us to work with. In the end it just turned a flat grey with all the atmosphere disappearing, however, when we arrived there was a lovely slightly golden colour to the light, though it was rather windy. We decided that it was perhaps a little too bright to start taking pictures towards the sun and so we started walking in the opposite direction looking for shots. After a short while the three of us had spread out to look for our own shots which is when I spotted this old buoy in the distance ( thought at the time I wasn’t exactly sure what it was). Being a dereliction fan I decided I must go and photograph it and so with camera and tripod slung over my shoulder I started to walk very carefully towards it. The terrain was quite awkward to navigate with the rocks being covered by seaweed, making it very slippery under foot and could’ve had me end up with quite a bruised bottom or worse had I not been paying attention. After about five minutes I safely reached my destination. I was so glad I made the trip out, if nothing else I would come away happy having just got these shots.

I decided that the best way to approach the subject would be to get down low and so I went about setting my tripod to its lowest position with the legs spread right out and the bottom of the centre column removed; a nice feature of my Velbon Sherpa. Although the low position was good for my composition the same could not be said for how comfortable I was, being crouched down with feet balanced precariously on the rocks trying to look through the viewfinder without putting my back out. One of those angle finder thingys would’ve been very useful indeed.

Though I could’ve got away without it I decided that I would bracket my shots, which turned out to be the right move as there was just enough exposure latitude to blow out the sky if I composed shots with mostly ground filling the frame. I could’ve used a graduated filter but I need to purchase a new adapter ring to fit my filter holder onto my Sigma. I processed all three shots you see here both normally and by using Photomatix, but comparing them side by side in Lightroom I ended up preferring the HDR versions as they seem to have a little more punch.

More to come from Birling Gap soon. Thanks for stopping by.
Edit: since posting I’ve come to the conclusion that it is more likely to be an old boiler, rather than a buoy.

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