The Strangles is a beach near my home. The path to it is a tortured 1/2 mile down and, of course, back up. Consequently, my preparation contained unusual elements – a close eye on the weather to get a clear, sunny evening, check with the sunset and tide tables and my own health, which has been poorly lately so I had to be certain I was up for the trek.
All three things came together last Wednesday. I packed two lenses – 18-270 and a wide angle, my tripod, filters, including my new big stopper, cable release, bottle of water for me and the dog and a portable bowl for her. Also a walking stick for me to help with the trek down.
We arrived about 6:30 and started our descent. As we drew near to the bottom I realized I had forgotten that part of the path required a hanging on a rope and backing over some rock. I was burdened with too much equipment so I threw some down ahead of me while my dog scrambled happily over the rocks.
When I set up I was after a shot of the Northern Door; however, Samphire Rock also caught my eye. I hadn’t been on the beach for years and never at this time of day. The light was stronger than I had hoped so I put on a polarizer to correct some of the color fading. Happily a couple appeared and added to some of the photos. They they lessened the emptiness. The tide was going out so the sand was clear and untracked.
I took the opportunity to use my big stopper for the first time. I didn’t follow the directions enclosed with the stopper. I focused first, slid the stoper in place and took the following photo. Well, not really. The initial result had a heavy blue cast so I did a lot of work on it, adjusting exposure, blacks, brightness, contrast, clarity, vibrance and saturation. Then I opened the image and adjusted the color curves and deepened the shadows. The result is a little Photoshoppy but this is my maiden effort. I have a lot to learn.
Then there is the Northern Door. It is harder than I thought to photograph. A large wall of rock protects it from the part of the beach where I descended. I wasn’t sure of the tide and didn’t want to spend the night down there so I contented myself with using my 18-270mm lens to shoot it at f/16 for depth of field, 1/125s, ISO 250, adjustig brightness, temperature and clarity. I work on the St. Gennys Calendar so I’ll be submitting this one. Don’t know if it will make the cut. We’ll see.
Then I had to climb out. It took an hour with many rest stops. I wans’t as strong as I could have wished and several times I wondered why I hadn’t just taken a shot from the cliffs and gone home. But when I got home and put things up on the screen, it all became worth it. And this is what is all about for me. The magic discovery when I see what I actually shot.