I’ve decided to write a monthly blog entry on my favourite image for couple of reasons; 1) It’s way to hard to pick out the images that catch my eye at the end of the year and 2) it might just show some progression through the calendar. Maybe.

Anyway, January was a bit of a violent start where weather was concerned and we seemed to endure an exceptionally long spell of mega-storms blowing in from the Atlantic. It’s fair to say Britain took a pounding with some of the biggest seas ever recorded. It produced mayhem. Of course, I had to be part of it and headed to North Devon where I was to experience some of the most incredible storm conditions I have ever seen, so much so they were typically impossible to stand up in, let alone consider photographing in.

Somewhere around the edge of the most extreme weather I did manage to grab some images I was particularly happy with and this month to kick this regular feature off, I’ve selected Enter The Dragon which was shot at Welcombe Mouth, a particularly treacherous part of the coast with those wonderful spiked rocks (exceptionally painful to fall on);

Enter The Dragon

Enter The Dragon

What Really Makes The Photograph Work For Me?

I love the entire feel to this frame, everything from the subdued colour to the drama of the sky and movement of the sea. It may not be the most original photograph ever but it does perfectly capture the mood of the few days I spent at the location which serves as a bit of a physical challenge as well as a breath-taking area for photography. It was no mean feat shooting in these rather unpredictable conditions.

Here are some of the things which stand out for me in the frame;

  • Firstly, the strong lines from each corner provide a natural lead into the frame although what I like about them here is that they don’t necessarily take you straight to a focal point. In fact they don’t really lead anywhere at all but towards that feeling of infinity and negative space.
  • I love the one bit of strong glossy red rock in the bottom right – it’s very much akin to dragon scales for me, there’s definitely something incredibly organic about that rock, hence the title of the final photograph of course.
  • Those dramatic jagged spikes are a huge feature of the rock in this part of the country and for me play a starring role in this scene. Keeping everything in focus from front to back ensured their character was captured across the frame.
  • The surging water filled those cut channels in a couple of seconds with every ferocious wave and I think the slower shutter speed captures the urgency of the flow here, again something which brings it to life for me.
  • The brooding sky is nicely lit above the cliff and rocks to the left which does pull your eye towards the back of the frame ensuring that there is plenty to look at.
  • The balance of contrast, movement and light really does work very nicely to my eye, definitely my favourite image of the month, though it wasn’t an easy pick.
The Technical Setup
  • Taken with the Nikon D800E
  • Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 16mm
  • f/13, ISO100, 1.3 seconds, late in the afternoon
  • Lee SW150 3 Stop ND Filter and SW150 2 Stop Soft Grad
  • Tripod, cable release
  • Shot in 14bit RAW, manual white balance
  • Finished with Nik Color Efex Pro 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS6

A pretty good start to the year I think and a nice way to kick this series of. I feel sure I will reflect on this photograph at the end of the year and still believe it deserves its place.