Photo of the Day – 19 January 2017: Wind Turbines

Posted on 23rd January 2017 by Admin under Comment, Equipment, Location, Photograph
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This is not the shot I envisaged I would obtain when I went to Reculver in Kent.  Landscape photography always has an element of fortune and this occasion was no different.  It was circumstances rather than my initial intentions which ended up dictating the eventual image.  This was my first visit there and I went to reconnoitre the area as much as anything.  The location is dominated by twin towers which are the remains of a medieval church.  The surrounding vicinity is flat, with the towers standing on higher ground adjacent to a small cliff by the sea.  It had been a sunny day and I had hoped that they would form an interesting foreground for a sunset shot.

Wind turbines at sea

Wind turbines off the coast at Reculver
(Click on image for a larger version)


Ideas and Reality

There were two problems with that idea.  The first was immediately apparent.  The sun was not going to set far enough west so that colours would form behind the towers.  I scouted two possible spots to reduce the angle between the towers and the sun but the cliff prevented me from getting to the position I really wanted.  Put simply, I ran out of ground on which to stand.  On a different day, the beach might have been an option, but not on this occasion.   A high tide which went right up to the base of the cliffs put paid to that.

The other issue was the weather, which was a mid-winter cold snap with clear blue skies.  There need to be clouds from which light from the setting sun can reflect to create colour.  Some were visible on the horizon, but nothing like enough to create anything other than a small strip of colour.  In a vague hope that everything would come right, I set up my tripod in the most promising position.  Unfortunately, as the sun set it confirmed my suspicions that conditions were not right for what I wanted.

Turbines to the Fore

It was time to seek an alternative.  It can happen that as the sun goes down, the sky directly opposite gets some colour.  Looking out to sea, I could see the turbines of an offshore wind farm engulfed in a pink hue.  The turbines are a long way off, so I used the longest lens I possess for my Fuji camera, the excellent 50-140 f/2.8.  That did a good job, but I had my DSLR and a longer lens in the car, so I tried that instead.  By the time I had got the other camera ready, the colour had deepened and it was one of those images which I selected.

Going Back

Reculver Towers evening light

Evening light falls on the Reculver Towers. A return visit is a definite possibility.
(Click on image for a larger version)


It was not a wasted trip.  I got a shot out of it and now have ideas for other images which include the towers should I return when conditions are more favourable.

This post is part of my occasional “Photo of the Day” series when I publish any shots which I think might be of interest and tell the story behind them.  They might not necessarily be portfolio standard images, nor the final version, but still be of sufficient interest for inclusion in my blog.  If I do not show a shot on any given day, it does not mean that I did not take any photographs, just that I did not get anything worthwhile.  For me, that is part of the fun of photography, not knowing what you will find on a shoot when nothing is planned.

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