Monday, 25 October 2010

Along the coast for a wee jaunt

Yesterday was a beautiful Winters (should that technically be Autumn?) day and also the first Sunday I've had off in beards so I was intent on actually getting outside and taking advantage of it.

Out the door for a wee dander with the camera was the agenda for the day, and depending on how long I spent taking photo's and how my feet were doing with the Vibram Five Fingers, I might end up in the Jamaica Inn on the far side of Bangor for a quick pint of black before returning along the North Down Coastal Path.

The park and beach were packed with people enjoying the clear skies, however the abundance of jackets and scarf's made it clear that the temperature was still in the singles.

Vibram Five Fingers are great shoes on the move but they might not have been the greatest choice of footwear for standing about in wet sand waiting for my camera to do its long exposure thing. The rubber soles have a "grain" that I'm sure helps them gain some more grip when walking, however, I'm pretty certain it also allows water/moisture to be transferred to the wicking material on the bed of the shoes, resulting in wet, cold, unhappy feet.

On the camera front, when I have the time, I'm now shooting in manual which is resulting in a wee bit less time in post processing as the images are exposed to show what I want to be shown and not a compromise made by the cameras computer, well sometimes. I'm probably making unforgivable exposure mistakes but quite frankly don't care, it's what hobbies are about. Sometimes I think I've become so critical of my work that nothing but perfection will make me happy, but it's all a bit of fun, when it stops being such I'll start to worry.

I've played along this coast line since my childhood and spent countless hours jumping around the rocky outcrops that enclose the sandy beaches. They are a great place to spend some time and still now, I wonder why the rocks have such sharp edges and what has caused the massive chasms between them. I used to ponder the former quite often due to falling over on the wet rocks, but have since became a bit better at avoiding the slippy rocks.

Other than the geology, what holds most interest for me are the desolate piers that exist in various states of repair, and I spent around half an hour at one before my feet told me it was time to head home. A combination of jumping around on sharp rocks and the cold dampness they were enduring due to being fairly static was not amusing them!

The light was starting to fade and it really was time to pack up and start the return trip, Arthur would have to wait for another day when I hadn't spent so long sitting behind a tripod.

Walking around one of the many bends that the coastal path follow's I ran into Simon Watterson of the late WanderingPhotographer blog and now Northern Focus website (which is a great resource for anyone looking for information on the outdoors scene and walks over here by the way.) We had shared a night in Donard Wood with some of the NI-Wild boys in January and it was good to see him again and have a quick catch up. There was a chance of me catching him again tonight at the Terrains Tamed lecture series, however it was not to be. After a quick chat and promises to meet up for a pint in the near future we both agreed it was time to make tracks before it was dark.

I have no doubt that Simon made it back on his bike before darkness descended, however it was pretty clear that the street lights would be on by the time I got home. Looking forward I could enjoy a rich red sunset and behind me the moon rose slowly to take over luminescent duties.

I haven't spent any time with night photography but seeing as it was so clear I decided to see what I could get with the least amount of time and effort. I'm sure number one on the list of things for successful night photography is a tripod, but I settled for kneeling positions and using park benches/fence posts for stability, results of which aren't overly shabby, even if numerous images were discarded.

With my feet now well and truly frozen (did I mention Vibram Five Fingers aren't very warm for standing about in?) I decided that I had done enough night time exposures and it was homeward bound. Thankfully I had packed a torch so I wasn't navigating the park between my night vision and the moons light....... oh no wait.

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3 comment(s) so far, add your thoughts -->>here<<--:

Simon said...

Aye, I got home in the daylight, but I did see the moon rising from the horizon. Good to catch up with you!

Thanks for the shoutout! :-)

Hendrik Morkel said...

That are some fine photos, Keith!

Keith said...

Nay bother Simon, praise where praise is due, NF is a good unit.

Cheers Hendrik!