Posts tagged ‘Long exposure’

July 19, 2012

Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall, perhaps best described by W.B. Yeats in his poem “The Stolen Child”:

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star…

I remember years ago some of the instructors from the Activity Centre where Sonja and I worked abseiling down this waterfall – to me it looked like sheer madness but to them merely an afternoons entertainment!

Last week, we were up in Sligo for the New Wine Summer Conference – a truly remarkable, wonderful (and at times overwhelming experience).  As well as the conference it was good to catch up with old friends and to take a few photos…

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Photo Notes:
The picture above was a thirteen second exposure.  I wanted as long an exposure as possible to get the water to look like a veil, unfortunately though I had left my tripod behind in the boot of the car.  Thankfully there was a fence on which to rest the camera but the disadvantage of this was that I could not take the photo from the angle I wanted (hence some of the ‘plunge pool’ is missing) and it simply was not possible to hold the camera steady enough to get a high level of sharpness – all lessons learned for another time – oh and I needed a polarizing filter also, to cut down on the glare.

Larger version on Flickr here.

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August 4, 2010

Rock and Water

I’ve been reading “Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography” by Brenda Tharp, which I can highly recommend.  One of the challenges she lays down at the start of the book is to ask yourself what you are trying to say when taking a photograph.  Does the picture have meaning?  What emotions does it evoke in the viewer?  What do they take away with them from the picture?  And so on.  For someone like me who tends to snap away without giving the pictures much thought until afterwards, this has been an exciting challenge, but one that I find difficult to achieve.  I see something that I like and I take a picture of it, but it is good to think about what I am trying to say even if it is mostly (for me at least) a subliminal process.

DSC_3907

Ok, lets try it out on this picture.  It’s a stream in the Great Langdale Valley (in Cumbria), taken a couple of weeks ago.  Now if I’m honest, when I look, I just see water rushing though rock (I used a slow shutter speed of 1/6 sec to emphasise the movement of the water).  To go beyond that description takes a little more effort on my part; I see hard solid granite, that is permanent, changing little over thousands of years.  I remember it being warm from the sun and like heavy-duty sandpaper to the touch.  That rock isn’t going anywhere.  In contrast the water is anything but solid, anything but permanent, it is very cold, having come from further up the mountain.  It is constantly changing, in a hurry and always different in shape and depth and speed.

The rock and the water could hardly be more different.  As I force myself to think further, I think of a similarlity between God and people.  God is the rock, permanent, eternal, solid, strong, unchanging.  We on the other hand are fluid and fragile, passing through time in the blinking of an eye.  The rock guides the flow of the water, (hmm maybe that is like God and us).  One way the water differes from us and God though is that it (albeit very gradually) shapes and smoothes the rock.  We cannot change God in any way, but then we don’t need to, it is rather us who need His help to change…  OK, that’ll do for now :-)

July 2, 2010

Light in the Darkness

Galley  Head long exposure

This photo was taken a few nights ago from the road approaching Galley Head Lighthouse.  With camera on tripod I kept the shutter open for twenty seconds.  In that time the light came around about four times and the movement of the sea has been completely smoothed out so that it looks opaque and misty.

I have always appreciated the metaphor of the lighthouse, there’s so much there – the light shining in the darkness, the surety and firmness of the rock in the midst of the unpredictable chaos of the sea, the warning for ships out at sea and the light to guide boats safely into the harbour.  Which leads us onto many thoughts; Christ as our rock and the light of the world, the Bible as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119), the light shining in the darkness as Christ coming into the world (John 1) and so on.

With the Lighthouse long since automated, it is now possible to book accommodation here in the former Lightkeeper’s residence, a very nice place to stay I think…

June 30, 2010

Golden Hour

Towards Castlefreke and Long Strand

Towards Castlefreke and Long Strand

There’s a time in the evening when the sun is thinking about setting but seems reluctant to do so.  Low in the sky the light is soft and filtered, imparting a certain ‘glow’ to everything.

As I stood in that field of Barley, I felt like I was in the midst of a great painting, a work of genius, by the great Artist.  It was a moment of beauty; I could hear the sea rush against the shore to my left and I could smell the earthy ground, still wet from the recent rainfall.  A breeze was gently blowing across the fields so that the Barley seemed – almost – to mimic the movement of the nearby waves.  There was a mist beginning to rise in the distant hollows and I knew that the special light was about to leave, so I reluctantly did the same.