The Sunday Morning Wavemaker

f/29, 1/8 sec, ISO 100, Canon 18-55mm@50mm

f/32, 0.8 sec, ISO 100, Sigma 70-300mm@ 200mm

f/36, i/6 sec, ISO100, Canon 18-200mm@130mm

f/36, i/6 sec, ISO100, Canon 18-200mm@130mm captured 2 seconds after image above

Well, the last few days has seen weather down here not seen before in at least a generation, (actually that´s not quite right, last year was pretty bad too!) I never imagined Spain would be a country where snow chains are a now a part of the gear you keep in your car, you expect that in Northern climes, not the Mediterranean! In the 23 years that  i´ve  been in this part of Spain  i´ve  only seen snow 3 times: this year, last year and the year before-so anyone who thinks Climate Change and Global Warming is a myth, will have their work cut out convincing me, that´s for sure!

Saturday night I changed my plans, instead of going to the Pego  Marjal (Marshlands) the following morning, I thought  i´d check out the coast at Denia – Las Rotas. I´ve  been there before at this time of the year and it´s always been calm and serene. So Sunday morning about 6:30 a.m, I checked out the Barometer, we have quite a big Barometer as it happens, you have to climb 13 steps  to get to it- it´s the roof terrace!  Not a cloud in the sky, stars twinkling and bitterly cold with a ferocious wind , so I figure there´s definitely going to be some big rollers crashing in on the rocks at Las Rotas-I was´nt  wrong.

I left the house at about 7:00 a.m, the sun still was´nt  fully up, and the roads we´re empty, so the 20 minute drive to the coast gave lots of opportunity to look around for future photographic  projects.

Early morning photography definitely has it´s benefits, the solitude and quiet reflection that comes from observing the scene in front of you. Time to slow down and observe unhurried, before pressing the shutter release, and un-worried by the early morning Joggers and dog walkers passing by and looking at me as if i´d just stepped off an alien spacecraft, hey folks, i´m only taking photographs!!!

The big rollers were coming in, with the tops disappearing into seaspray, really dramatic but i´ve taken dozens of this type of shot in the past, so I thought i´d go for something different and do some long exposures. I decided to take some shots with every lens in my bag, just to see which lens works best for this type of seascape.

I´ve always thought long exposure seascapes are taken best at sunset, all smooth water and serenity.Sunday however, was completely the opposite-beginning of the day in a raging wind. I´ve never done Long Exposures in this kind of weather before,so gotta get it done and see what I come up with. The ND4 filter was sufficient  but  an ND8 would have been more appropriate with such bright light I think and I had such problems with constantly changing settings, one more thing to buy I guess! You can get the excellent long exposure tutorial by Peter Hill here. To see Peter Hill´s 500px portfolio click here or on the blogroll below.

I intended to spend a couple of hours there but ended up staying for four. After stowing the gear in the car, I sat on the terrace of a delightful little bar closeby, with a strong, hot, black coffee and took in the scene in front of me, the Sun and wind and the rollers crashing on the rocks below and the taste of the sea, from the light dusting of seaspray on my face, was truly a magic moment!

When I got home, Sophie was doing her  homework (and enjoying it- amazingly!) so I knocked up a family sized breakfast for us all, before we all headed up to the Font de Gel to replenish our dwindling water stocks. We took another route back to the house and made another local discovery we had´nt previously known about which will be the subject of a future post.

The tech stuff :  Canon 50D, Canon 18-200mm,  Sigma 70-300mm, Hoya ND4 filter,  Tripod and wireless shutter release, CEP´s Tonal Contrast filter and Elements 10.

Non-tech stuff:  Photography gloves, a warm pair of ski pants and oh yeah, a big bowl of porridge before setting out, in the morning!!!


8 thoughts on “The Sunday Morning Wavemaker

  1. A few years ago I was talking to a waiter in a bar at La Zenia, the weather was quite poor for May and he lamented thatsadly it seemed in Spain they could no longer rely on the predictable weather that they had previously been used to. In 2009 I went to Porto in January and the Portuguese were in a state of shock dealing with a succession of sharp early morning frosts.

  2. Like David, I really like the timing on that top image. I really like the second last one too. So, do tell what you’ve done with the 2nd last image vs. the last image. They’re both obviously the same scene, but slightly different time, yet you’ve produced two very different images. What did you do?

    BTW, are you happy with your ND4? I’ve never tried one and am thinking it might be about time to go down the ND8 path. Closest I’ve come is aligning two linear polarizing filters so they shut out virtually all light. I haven’t had a linear polarizer in years though so I haven’t tried that trick lately.

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