A Strong and Persistent Desire

14th October 2016
Often I find a location and get an idea in my head of how I'd like to capture it. I'll then make a note and return at a time that best achieves my goal for that location. That's great, it's always worked for me, helping me produce some of my favourite and most successful images.
At least a couple of times a week someone will say to me...
“You were in the right place at the right time for that one!”
I was, but chances are I was at that location several times leading up to that photograph, with a fair few pictures filling up my recycle bin along the way.
A prime example is this photograph from Bude, North Cornwall.
The original idea was to shoot the water flowing around the sea stack with the Orion constellation setting at the same time as the Moon. Sounds great, if a little ambitious.
The first issue lies with the Moon. If it's too bright, you won't see much of the stars anyway. So it had to be a small crescent Moon.
The second issue is having the Orion constellation setting in the correct position (between cliff and sea stack).
And the third and final issue is the water only covers the base of the sea stack at high tide.
Add those 3 parameters together and you are left with 3 nights in the entire year when this photograph is possible! I started to think up other alternatives, but the idea had taken hold.
The first two years of trying saw those possible nights in cloud cover. Ugh!
This year would see me tick that particular idea off of the list though.
The cloud rolled in just after the Moon had set, reminding me that astro-photography, above all other genres of photography is in the hands of the weather gods.
On a side note, it really is extremely dark at this particular cove! Edged with high cliffs that block any ambient light from the nearby town. The tide also brought with it some huge waves. I've been photographing in the middle of the night for several years, but I still found this to be quite scary. I was only a few metres from the tide line and every large crash of the waves would see me scrambling back up the beach over treacherous slippery rocks. In short, a few brown trouser moments!
I did rather enjoy a flask of coffee under starlight once I'd finished the shoot though.

The final image on the third attempt, 3 years after the idea...


                                                                     Canon 6d, Samyang 14mm f2.8


Photo comment By Nikolas Bloomfield: Beautiful shot Chris, I aspire to be at least half as good as you one day (in the distant future) :)
Photo comment By Hannah: Fantastic photography as always. Love this and you other post and photos.
Photo comment By Steve Pinchess: Stunning work as always, and a fantastic commitment to your art.
Photo comment By Baz McDonald: Yep that's a great shot !
Photo comment By Matt Menhenett: Your work is fantastic! I'm a graphic designer and photographer from Newquay and your work always pushes me to work harder! Keep up the stunning shots!

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