Late the previous day I had spotted a mackerel sky forming and I was pleased to find it still there when I woke up in the morning. I headed up to our local highpoint to the South of Widemouth Bay, Penhalt Cliff, which gives fantastic open views across about 270 degrees, the last quarter being obscured by rising farmland behind.
Mackerel skies can be composed of either altocumulus or cirrocumulus clouds; I believe these to be the former (though I am happy to be corrected) as they do not appear to be particularly high level and are showing grey patches rather than white. I took this shot just after the dawn image that I posted here: Dawn, Penhalt Cliff.
Looking due North up the Culm Coast here, the furthest point you can see here are the cliffs of Lower Sharpnose Point, with the satellite dishes of GCHQ Bude to their right. Bude is on the right at about middle distance up the coastline.
I remain puzzled as to what caused the sharp horizontal line in the water. I don’t remember it from when I was shooting but it is in other shots too so it is not the camera.
Penhalt Cliff, Bude, Cornwall, UK
Camera: Sigma DP1 Merrill
Lens: Sigma 19mm f/2.8 (built in lens)
Focal Length: 19mm
Shutter Speed: 1/125s
I had a great deal of trouble processing this image and even had to take the Internet forums for advice. The shot lacks contrast and is underexposed; these are things that do not suit the Foveon sensor in the Sigma DP1M and it resulted in extensive Foveon magenta blotching in the sea and magenta and green blooming in the clouds. Eventually I took the sea from the RAW converted in Irident Developer and the land and sky from the RAW converted in Sigma Photo Pro. These were blended, had a contrast boost in Color Efex's Pro Contrast and then considerable white balance adjustment in Viveza.