As I said in last month’s Image Of The Month, the summer of 2015 has totally flattened my spirit some how. Autumn certainly can’t come soon enough. I’m not great in the sun and burn far too easily, I can’t stand biting insects which drive me to distraction and despite having an Infrared option up my sleeve the idea of actually using it had become uninspiring. When I get like this I often seek out a change of scenery and there’s nothing I like more than the peace and tranquility of North Devon so I went down on a whim in the middle of the month.

If you go on the right days in the week and months in the year it can feel like you have the whole county to yourself, there are certainly aspects of it that can feel like a genuine wilderness too, particularly across Exmoor. Needless to say I make a bee-line for such locations when I can but I usually can’t resist a look-in at the spectacular geology on show at Welcombe Mouth and Hartland.

On this occasion I decided to try and re-create an image which I’d captured there previously – you can see it BY CLICKING HERE to view it on Flickr. Although I liked it at the time, the colours felt a little unrealistic, despite the fact it was more of less straight out of the camera. People look at stuff like that and just think it can’t be real so I set about trying to capture something a little more muted this time. I love this particular position of view at Hartland through the rock so waited for the tide to come in and for the light to drop before getting this one. For once the result matched my pre-visualisation, definitely something of a collectors item in this respect…

Hartland Rock Abstract

What Really Makes The Photograph Work For Me?

This photograph is all about colour and texture. I love the tonal quality, the detail, the whole feel to it and this time I made particular attention to where the final crop would be – I certainly had a 5:4 in mind for the final view.

So here’s why Hartland Rock Abstract is image of the month:

  • The muted palette of colours just keep me captivated. Yet there’s something naturally vibrant on show here – just look at that sea colour, it’s certainly the sort of colour that most people would pick if asked to paint a picture of the sea purely from memory.
  • Unlike the previous incarnation, I slowed the shutter a bit more on this one by using the Lee Little Stopper. I like the balance achieved between the depiction of movement and some freezing of the water.
  • The contained view of this channel makes it a very intimate abstract experience and I very much like the framing of the water here.
  • The flecks of yellow in the foreground rock definitely help define the edge of the layers which allows the viewer to understand what they’re looking at.
  • The endless cracks and lines through this million year old rock tell enough of a story and provide visual references for some of the more travelled photographers to probably guess where this might have been taken.
The Technical Setup
  • Taken with the Nikon D800E
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/4 @ 85mm
  • f/11, ISO200, 1 second in overcast conditions at 18:50hrs
  • Lee Little Stopper (6 stops) and Lee Landscape Polariser
  • Shot in 14bit RAW, manual white balance
  • Finished with Nik Color Efex Pro 4 and Adobe Photoshop CC
  • No sharpening