Light on the Water

_DS83571Fine winter’s days are becoming rare and precious occasions this winter. When a good day dawns, it’s time to get out with the camera and make the most of the weather window before the next depression sweeps across the Atlantic bringing yet more wind and rain to the UK’s shores.

There was one good day last week and we took the road south to the coast and then turned east to Eastbourne and neighbouring Beachy Head. More about Beachy Head later this week.

For today, let’s simply look out to sea from the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head across the English Channel – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

The sun was painting a path of light across the sea, interrupted by filmy patchy cloud –  the effect was beguiling and beautiful, and changing by the minute. I shot a number of frames. Getting the exposure right when shooting into the sun can be difficult, but my usual approach is to leave the camera set to record matrix metering and under-expose by a full stop. That seldom goes wrong and a quick check of the histogram will always confirm if adjustments need to be made.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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6 Responses to Light on the Water

  1. shoreacres says:

    Hallelujah, and hooray! Not only is your photo a delight, with its play of light on the water, and ships that remind me of our own channel, but I think I finally get the business about “stopping down.”

    When you said, “underexpose by a full stop,” I thought, “I still don’t get it.” So, I used that very phrase as a search term, and found a page that shows exactly how it works, with example photos, aperture diagrams, etc. I suspect the problem with some of my sunny day photos has been overexposure. I need to start keeping some sample bad photos, too, so I can go back and double check these hunches!


    • LensScaper says:

      Hallelujah indeed! I’m so pleased you like this shot – it was a wonderful panorama. It’s a very long time since my last visit to this spot – probably 25 years I think. My father used to bring me here about 60years ago – that makes me feel so old!
      On the ‘stopping down’ front – the easiest way with digital cameras is to use the EV button or dial and just turn it to minus one for a full stop of under exposure. On sunny days I usually always set the EV to minus a third or a half a stop – that nearly always avoids getting burnt out highlights


      • shoreacres says:

        As it happens, I just found that EV dial and scale last week, thanks to a friend who looked at some photos and said “Why do you have your exposure compensation set to -1?” Of course I’d been messing with the settings and it just ended up that way. Now, we’re back to zero, and I can do a little more intentional experimentation!


        • LensScaper says:

          The problem with dials on a compact camera that is pocketable is that getting them in/out of pockets can so easily result in the dials being inadvertently rotated (and that often includes the EV dial) – it’s happened to me so many times and it’s so easy to start shooting without checking that the settings are as you thought you left them…


  2. Chillbrook says:

    Beautiful shot Andy! 🙂


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