Is this the last gasp from the jet stream for this winter? The West Country has taken such a battering this winter. I’ll admit that at first, as a keen weather watcher, I found the storms quite exciting but after a while it all started to get a bit wearing, particularly when having to deal with ongoing episodes of damage to the house and garden (the storms penetrated render leading to damp inside the house, destroyed the outside lighting, finally finished off an old greenhouse, broke the hinges on an outside storage box, smashed the cold frame twice, and blew down a fence).
As a photographer the storms continued to entertain however and I took as many opportunities as I could to go out and see and shoot them. Something that became vey apparent though was that on the North coast, due to our gently sloping beaches, photographic opportunities were vastly better near high tide and the storms often did not coincide with high tide being in daylight hours. With onshore winds, a 20ft wave at low tide looks virtually indistinguishable from a 10ft wave or a 30ft wave; it is only when it hits something that the force and size become apparent.
I was pleased, therefore, that during the (fairly mild in comparison to most we’ve had) storm last week that sunset, a high spring tide, and the storm surge all nearly coincided and I headed out to my favourite local location, Sandymouth, to get a few shots. The water rarely reaches the base of the cliffs as shown in this long exposure shot, and this is still a couple of hours before high water.
Sandymouth, Bude, Cornwall, UK
Camera: Olympus E-M1
Lens: Olympus M 12-40 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 12mm
Shutter Speed: 10s
I took this shot as the sun broke through some clouds (though still was partially obscured) and it bathed the scene in an orange light that I actually find slightly nauseous in the original. As I processed this I wanted, therefore, to emphasise the red, rather than yellow, components of the light. After a contrast boost with Color Efex's Pro Contrast, a little added zing from Perfect Effects, and some LAB colour separation for the cliffs, I used curves and a Hue/Saturation adjustment to emphasise the reds.