Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Years Eve - Day Trip

Undeterred by the near Nil visibility my friend Richard and his son Edward joined me for a day trip along the coast from Hunstanton to Cley for photography and food. We all had new toys from Christmas and were on our way to Hunstanton by 0800. Hunstanton in the winter is a dark and melancholic place, that would challenge anyone with a camera. The summer visitors enjoy a typical buckets and spades environment in the only east coast resort that has a sunset out at sea due to its west facing coastline within The Wash. The only buckets were with a few bait diggers looking for lug worm and seeing them in the vast empty space of the foreshore at low tide made me wonder why I hadn't packed any telephoto lenses. Anyway, the plan was to use the digital range finder and the 5x4 and move towards a minimalist style that had a naturalistic feel rather than the compressed perspective of telephoto and conversely the difficult world of wide angle The light was surprisingly good provided you didn't mind 640 ISO, 1/125 sec and f2, but on the other hand it was an even flat light that in a studio would be so hard to achieve. After an hour or so it was clear we had "done" Hunstanton and we needed coffee and buns. Hunstanton of course refused as it was shut and we moved further East. Further "closed" signs until we decided to give the RSPB a chance of doing some life saving at Titchwell where we found good beans on toast, bacon and coffee, with the enticing 50% off sign on the shop door to get us in and buying. Quite naturally the 50% off wasn't applying to the Leica spotting scopes so we moved on to Brancaster Staithe. Very foggy to the extent of being wet but I did manage a few (3) with the 5x4 using Delta 100. Typically the exposures were 1 sec at f22. The fog was closing in and became virtual rain so we pressed on to Wells next the Sea and to the "East End" where the cockle fisherman have their shed and boats. I didn't "get it" there. I looked at the ground glass on the Wista for a while and apart from showing a walker how a 5x4 camera worked didn't make any photographs. Moving further east we did various drive throughs at potential shooting places but with falling light headed for the beach at Cley. There isn't much there apart from shingle sea defence and about four small boats. The boats have space around them that almost puts them out of context, with no other features or fittings for fishing and I am sure there is good photography there, but not on this occasion. Last stop was for more food at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust visitor centre for more tea and cakes. 1430 now and almost dark.

So, 80 or so images with the M8 and 3 with the 5x4 and no real prospect of more than a few that I can use for coursework projects. But, none of that matters in reality. The issues here are that the more you shoot the more you learn, not only about simple matters of exposure and the like but a build up of ideas for the future. Subconsciously this small trip, which is similar to many from the past will provide me with a preamble when I next go to those locations. Even if none of that is true and photographically it was poor I now know that the RSPB at Titchwell do good beans and bacon, which cant be a bad thing to know.

Hunstanton - Closed

Leica M8 50mm Summilux 1/125 sec f1.4 ISO 640

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