What a performance. Deciding which of my possible locations to go to was a nightmare. By 1pm I still hadn't set off. The day was bright with fair weather cumulus and the light variable. No rain but very windy. As if in some "anti" moment I choose the location I thought least likely at the start of the day. Holme - next - the - sea is a small village on the North Norfolk coast about 4 miles east of Hunstanton. The village is inland but there is a nature reserve on the coast run by various naturalist and ornithology trusts, so that's where I ended up. I am a member of one of the groups and that allows me access to a remote area of beach, dunes with marram grass and some pine woodland. Whether the area I used was exactly one acre I don't know, but my garden at home is about one third of an acre so I tried to keep within a size of three gardens. One of the reasons for not wanting to go to Holme was the wind and the sand. I don't mollycoddle my equipment that much, but sand is nasty and will ruin stuff quickly, but because the location has areas of elevation (we are short of that around here) it drew me and that's where I spent 3 hrs shooting 126 images for a 12 image assignment. I have tried to slow down and work with more "technique", thinking, reflecting, taking and then moving. The incident meter worked well, producing some good looking histograms despite the viewfinder display protesting. I never look at the image while out shooting only the histogram. Even on a D3 its far too small and in any case I think its fair to assume that with a 100% finder I will have pointed it where I wanted and don't need to check composition at that stage. The only exception is sometimes I use live view in magnification mode to check the near and distance focus when using the tilt lens, but on a bright day this is difficult and would be better with a black cloth. Perhaps if I buy a black cloth I will buy a 5x4 camera. The only filter used was a Lee ND grad. The sky was well outside the DR and while most of the images were made without a sky, some got interesting and needed this. Lenses used were the 24mm Tilt/shift, 50mm and 80-200 zoom. I haven't made up my mind yet about how to present the work. Its likely to be monochrome, due to that being my preferred genre and that there is little colour anyway at this location and it will either look washed out or if I saturate them they will look wrong. Within monochrome I probably have more decisions to make than if they were presented in colour. Straight or manipulated is the initial question. Manipulated sounds fun but for this assignment I don't think we need to be "clever" so I will have a look at some standard film types in Silver Efex Pro, maybe a bit of yellow filter and certainly some dodging and burning and a judicious amount of retouching. I hate annoying highlights and will always remove them if they drag the eye in any way. I never go to processing straight after a shoot. I always hate what Ive done anyway and can only come back to it a few days later, when I seem to see the images with fresh eyes. So, a bit of experimental PP with look alike PanF and maybe Delta 100.
While there and shooting I was concious that the outcome is a photographic essay. It should be complete when presented and act as a panel of photographs that tell the viewer something of the place, not only by way of the vista, but the textures and the feel of location. There are nagging thoughts when I shoot. How would Edward Weston, Fay Godwin, Ansel Adams, David Ward etc etc look at this location ?. They would produce master pieces, or would they ?. It is difficult to find out just how many failure days these people had. Some of them probably took more time, came many times to one location and that is something I must consider. I do have images from this location taken last winter and I may look through them and include any that offer more variety.