Monday, 11 November 2013

Into the light

from Valentia to the Skelligs (2007)
 © Teresa Newham 
It started with a sheep. Many years ago, now . . . I was still using my Canon Sureshot, powered by four AA batteries and weighing what seemed like a ton.  As we returned to the car after a late afternoon stroll on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, the sheep blocking our path obligingly leapt aside.  He was facing the sun, which was setting behind the distant Skelligs (they are just visible on the horizon in the above photo if you are looking at a particularly large print of it).  I raised the camera, clicked the shutter . . . and captured one of my most popular images, just like that.

ruin at Ballinskelligs beach, looking towards Waterville
© Teresa Newham
I've been fond of shooting into the sun ever since.  The "rules" say you shouldn't do it - and in certain situations it can be a disaster - but get it right and it can make the everyday seem quite different.  This photo, with the sun behind me, shows the ruin at Ballinskelligs beach, taken when I was back in Kerry just a couple of weeks ago.  It was mid-morning, unseasonably warm - barely a cloud in the sky!

ruin at Ballinskelligs beach, looking towards Ballinskelligs
© Teresa Newham
I walked a little further along the beach, then turned round to take a shot of the ruin from the other direction - into the sun.  The result , taken just a couple of minutes after the previous photo, looks completely different - it might be late afternoon.

bathers at Ballinskelligs beach, October
© Teresa Newham
I was dog-walking with my friends; and because I kept turning round to take photos I'd fallen a bit behind them, as you can see.  And yes, there really are a couple in swimming costumes further down the beach - even though it was almost Halloween!

bathers making their way back down the beach
© Teresa Newham
As we walked on, the bathers turned and headed back down the beach towards me.  I waited until they'd passed, turned, and took another photo as they neared the ruin -  a completely different effect, just by turning round!

the Skelligs - taken from Valentia
© Teresa Newham
I carried on throughout the week happily taking shots into the light.  Most of the places we visited faced South East, South or South West, so depending on the time of day, there was often no alternative!

Knightstown, Valentia
© Teresa Newham
The clouds in the  sky over Knightstown were too good a subject to miss, despite the amount of flare from the setting sun.

St Michael's Well, near Dungeagan
© Teresa Newham
When we visited St Michael's Well, I took a number of photos from all directions.  But the ones which best captured the atmosphere of this special place were taken into the light.  This time the clouds helped to filter the sun.  It was late morning.

the beach near Derrynane House, Caherdaniel
© Teresa Newham
This last photo was taken mid-afternoon at the beach near Derrynane.  Again, the clouds were wonderful, and the effect of the light has bleached a lot of the colour from the grasses in the foreground.  I like breaking the rules . . .


1 comment: