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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Photographer's hell at Port Eynon

When I stepped off the bus in Port Eynon, I was amazed to discover that the howling gale that made me flee Rhossili, was nowhere in evidence. There was a gentle breeze and glorious sunshine. In fact, it was so uncomfortably hot, I tore my cardigan off within seconds of alighting.

I knew I didn't have much time in Port Eynon, less than an hour in fact. I could have stayed longer, but I rarely stay in Gower until the last bus, as I have morbid fears of it not turning up. I set off on a gentle stroll along the waterline, towards Horton, as the tide rolled in. In fact, I had a bit of fun wave-dodging. What was not such fun, was trying to take photos, due to the bizarre and difficult lighting conditions caused by the strong early evening sunlight, and banks of cloud. I tried my best, with varying results.

The lighting conditions at both the easterly and westerly extremes of the bay, were very challenging. Take this shot of the houses at Lower Horton - they seem to be bathed in artificial light, as part of a night time scene, yet the rest of the shot is in ordinary daylight.

Looking back towards the Old Salthouse was no photographer's picnic, either, with lens flares galore.

There seemed to be plenty of this seaweed coming ashore. Is this the stuff they make laverbread from?

A long line of it stretched all the way to Horton, as it was deposited by the incoming tide.

The cloud formations were incredible, but trying to photograph them was so frustrating, due to the light, the camera's limitations and my own lack of expertise in dealing with such conditions.

When I checked, the line of seaweed also stretched back towards the Youth Hostel and other buildings along the beach.

I tried desperately to capture both the geological faults revealed along the distant headland, and the gold and russet autumnal tones of the cliffside vegetation. But the stark contrast between the shadows cast by the clouds, and the harsh sunlight between the shadows, made this an almost impossible task.

In fact, the clouds were the only things that allowed themselves to be photographed with any degree of clarity.

Yet again, the houses of Lower Horton look like they're part of a night time shoot.

I tried not to let the frustration get to me and spoil the pleasant walk I was having. I hadn't been on Port Eynon beach since some time last year, and it was nice to be able to walk, without falling over hordes of holidaymakers and daytrippers. Mindful of the time, I decided to make one last effort to capture the geology and vegetation of the headland.

Realising now that there was less than fifteen minutes before my bus was due, and I was some distance from the bus stop, I decided to pack away the camera and retrace my steps. I vowed that if Friday was a nice day, after taking the cat to the PDSA, I would use my day ticket to head for Port Eynon again.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sianikatt

Stop being so hard on yourself, there are some lovely photos in this set. Keep up the good work.

Siani said...

Thanks for the kind comment. I did a bit of work with PhotoShop to correct some of the lighting problems, etc, in the original pics.