Friday, 9 April 2010

Sunsets and Sunrises in - Egypt

Hello friends!
I keep on forgetting that not all of you are following me through my FaceBook Fan Page or on Twitter. So for you not to miss too much I will try to recap for you what has happened since I last blogged.
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I have been out late afternoons and early mornings the last two weeks to capture the sunrise and sunset for a new photo series that I am doing. I have been up so many early mornings at 5 am now I am still waking up at that way too early hour, even though I don’t have to anymore!
I started with a late afternoon photo shoot by a jetty. I was using long shutter speeds to blur the water movement. It was so windy I was squatting down next to my tripod with my shutter release cable in my hand trying to shield the camera from the wind so that my images would not all come out blurry due to the wind moving the camera. Don’t take me wrong my tripod is not a light weight one so it can stand sturdy by itself but it was just so windy I figured every little helps in order to keep the camera still. I was using exposures from 30seconds and longer, so very sensitive to movements.
Something that you need to consider while shooting sea is that the tide move and if you are not careful you might end up standing in the water quite quickly. I did not have that incident but I did see my foreground disappearing, due to the tide coming in. I was so focused on the jetty that I didn’t really notice that I was loosing my foreground. So keep that in mind when you are out photographing oceans. It you are by a lake you should be fine ;-) The other element that was changing was the sun had set and it was getting darker and darker and therefore harder to see through the viewfinder. The darkness also made it a lot harder for the camera to focus so you might want to focus your lens manually but you need to do that before it gets too dark since later you wont even be able to see it yourself.
My last evening photo shoot I changed location to another jetty further down the beach. I had taken a few frames still doing long exposures so once you have pressed that shutter you are up for a wait, 30seconds can sometimes seam like a very long time. Especially if a beautiful Kingfisher decides to land only 2 meters away from you! I had just pressed the shutter to expose for another image I tried desperately to quicken the time so that I would have time to take a few frames of the Kingfisher before he decided to fly away. In order to get long exposures I was using 2 Cokin filters so I quickly had to grab the filters off the lens, I had nowhere to put them! You know how filters can be especially plastic ones they get scratched very easily so I didn’t want to put them just anywhere. I ended up having them in my mouth. (I know gross but I did get some stunning images out of it though.) Now I only need to clean my filters they are full of lip gloss.
The Kingfisher did fly away in the end before I had time to take a decent shot of him from his first location but he did thankfully not fly too far away. He also let me walk a bit towards him to get a closer shoot. (Of course with the camera, what do you take me for?) I quickly had to change my camera settings to suite taking images of a Kingfisher. Had to change the ISO and of course the shutter speed and aperture! You don’t want long exposures of a bird. Unless you are maybe looking for an Arty blurry feel. Then by all means go ahead.
I went home very happy with myself that I had caught the Kingfisher on “film”. The next morning I went down to the same location to take some sunrise images, and to my surprise my new friend the Kingfisher came along as well unfortunately he was not as chatty this morning as he was the night before. So I did not get to take any photos of him. I waved good morning and thought that I’ll see him later on anyway. Now when I know where he hangs out.
It was till windy in the morning actually every shoot I had done for this photo series the weather conditions have been windy, morning and evening.
This morning however it was not only windy but also cloudy so no sunrise for me, I was hoping that I would get some dramatic sunrays coming through the clouds but that unfortunately never happened either. So instead of capturing romantic sunrises I captured more dramatic moody scenes. Since that was the weather I had been dealt this morning.
The next morning I got clear skies and I saw the sun rise just above the jetty, at about 05.40 in the morning. Hurray!!
I feel that the minutes just before the sun reaches up behind the Jordanian Mountains are slightly more spectacular than once you can see the sun but that’s just me. What do you think?
I guess once again I learned that you need to be prepared for the unexpected and take advantage of the situations that present it self. Like with my Kingfisher.
Happy shooting everyone.

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