A bit of a change yesterday from my Rural Life Museum work. Off to Cowes to take portraits for my sailor daughter Mary and her fellow adventurers at sea. Also, to take pictures to launch the new Off Shore Academy that will train them to compete in next year’s classic French single named yacht race, the Solitaire du Figaro.
The forecast of heavily overcast all day was luckily wrong and a certain amount of breaks in the cloud did occur. Was really quite worried about the light levels as they are approaching the lowest of the year and even by the sea it can be very very gloomy. Digital cameras are much better able to cope in low light but it does reduce either shutter speed and or quality.
I was given seconds to take my first picture as there was a departing ferry to catch for one of the key players. Experience comes into play at such times and I was able to see where to take the picture very quickly and the ferry was caught. I have to say it is a huge comfort these days, when under pressure to be able to have quick look and be sure that the picture is on the card!! Then miraculously the sun vaguely shone in a most helpful way, vague sun is the very best for portraiture. Strong sun in a marina full of shiny boats would have been very hard to cope with.
When everyone had had the portrait pictures taken that they need for their various websites and blogs , it was off to the the Green at Cowes to take some action on the water pictures. The sea is very deep close to the shore off Cowes and so with the light behind you, it is an excellent dry place to take pictures from. However, they set off for America it seemed and there was a long wait for the 3 boats to return. The sun was out and there is always something to look at on the sea in such a busy waterway. Big ships leaving Southampton, ferries and a mystery object on a long barge – ideas please??
The sailors chose one of the dullest moments of the day to return along the shore and I was on ISO 400 F 5.6 and that gave me a shutter speed of around 1/600th of a second which I thought would do the trick as I was using a tripod. I was wrong and the boats are not as sharp as I would like them. I realise that in the summer when photographing at sea, I had had good results but with shutter speeds 1-2000th , obviously what is needed.
It was a lovely day and made a good change from aspects of rural life.
Back to Coppicing , hunting and learning shortly.