Living in Central Bedfordshire, the landscapes can sometimes be a little uninspiring. There are limited opportunities for 'big views'. We don't have any mountains, and our lakes are more like big collections of water. On the plus side, it makes you work hard to find an image that works, and forces you to focus on different aspects on the landscape, and i enjoy working in this way. In fact, when I have been confronted with stunning vistas and dramatic views I've often stalled, almost intimidated by it, unable to produce anywhere near the final image I’d had in my head.
So when we decided to book a family holiday to the Isles of Scilly, I was excited by the prospect of some new scenery, and an opportunity to shoot at the coast for the first time.
For the holiday, we were based on St. Marys, on the west side of the island by the Garrison. I went out in the evening for 5 of the 7 nights we were there, and all of the sunset, seascapes and wave shots were all within a ½ mile stretch of coast line. I really enjoyed returning to the same area over the course of the week, as I feel that it enabled me to get to grips with area, especially as shooting seascapes is very new to me. Here are a few of my favourite efforts, looking West towards Samson and Bryher. Although I can see faults in them, and feel they could have been stronger images, I was happy with the end result and the process of learning.
Due to the good weather and bright sunshine, my infrared (IR) camera saw plenty of action. Where the sun was too bright and harsh for 'normal' photography, shooting in infrared was a great alternative to the ‘traditional’ landscape shots.
Churches seemed to feature fairly heavily in some of my favourite IR work, so maybe there is a project there somewhere for the future, but one of my favourite IR shots from the trip was of the abandoned lighthouse on St. Agnes. St. Agnes also happened to be one of favourite islands too. It’s home to Britain’s most south westerly pub, The Turks Head. They do a lovely pint and pasty should you ever find yourself in the area, and if you fancy becoming a landlord, it’s currently for sale!
I recently purchased a copy of Sea Fever by David Baker. It’s a glorious book full of powerful seascapes, and I would highly recommend people picking it up if they get a chance, although I believe stocks are low!
I took a number of shots of the waves over the course of the week, but this was my pick of the bunch. A shutter speed of between 1/2 - 1 second seemed to do the trick in capturing just enough movement in the waves.
A note on the Fuji kit
For this trip, I shot with my Fuji X-t1 and converted X-e1 for the infrared work. In addition to these 2 bodies, I took the 14mm and 56mm primes, plus the 16-55mm and 50 -140mm zooms. I also added my lee filters kit and adaptor rings and 1.4x teleconvertor. All of this came in at under 5kgs. I only mention this, because I see the weight of the Fujis being a massive advantage over my previous Nikon gear, where I would never have gotten away with being able to take the equivalent bodies and lenses on a family holiday. I was easily able to take both bodies plus lenses on day trips in a single rucksack (including all the usual family stuff people take for a day out island hopping and playing on the beach). The 14mm still remains one of my favourite lenses Fuji make, and the fact it’s exceptional in IR just makes it even better for me.
Ultimately, having the Fuji kit enabled me to get pictures that I may not have been able to before making the switch, because it gave me more options