Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frosty morning at Burgoyne Bay

 After several clear bright frosty days, the heavy clouds of an approaching warm front coat the sparkling landscape with an even wash of grey. After so many splendid days for photography it is a temptation to leave my camera at home when the family sets off for a morning walk on the other side of the island. But no, I`ve tried that before and nearly always regretted it later.

I do try something different today though, as we set out on the cliff-edge trail that leads through the woods, beside the fields, and down to the beach. I adjust the camera setting that controls the degree of colour that the camera will render as it takes the picture. If the landscape is grey, I reason, then lets juice it up by recording in extra vivid. I`ve done something like this before, adjusting a normal image in the computer post-capture, but never tried this exact thing . Here we go with another camera adventure.

Sure enough, the red rails of the Government wharf glow brightly through the dark silhouettes of trees, and later on, as we step down to the beach at last, the white hull of a beached sailboat shows an otherwise unnoticed blue of winter light behind the bare branches of a maple. That sailboat, on closer inspection is a treasure trove of images, - the frost-covered rigging and mast lean sharply against the dark, cloud-shrouded mountainside. This vivid camera setting is doing some fascinating things in this dull landscape that is different somehow from the results I would get if I applied it later in a photo program.

This far end of the beach is always in the shadow of the steep slope of the mountain. The winter sun just cannot reach into this corner and the frost has had time to grow large crystals in the cold, but damp air of the past week. All around me is a delicate white hoarfrost that would be sparkling if the sun were not shrouded and could reach in here. I follow a creek back towards the woods and find at the upper end of the driftwood swath at the high tide line that the stream`s spray has formed some most interesting crystal patterns. Holding the camera down close to the rushing water I can capture this fairy world without having to crawl on my belly in the cold and wet. There is such value for me always when the camera can get up close and personal with the surface of the earth.

Soon we are walking through the old farm fields, past the barn and back to our vehicle. I`m very glad I brought my camera today, grey overcast, chilly morning, and all.

Duck arrows



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