A favourite scenic spot of mine has always been Penarth Pier. It's safe to say that after getting hooked on photography just over two years ago, the famous South Wales beauty spot, hidden away below rugged cliffs a stone throw from the growing urbanscape of Cardiff has featured in many of my shots.
This week I was lucky enough to have a photo selected and published in Tuesday's edition of the South Wales Echo, and I think that makes it a perfect excuse to recapture a shot of that timeless landmark. Sadly for a photographer the pier building is undergoing some well overdue renovation and investment and I cannot wait to see the new facades gleaming again in the sun... (which we are also overdue in South Wales).
Not to be put off by the scaffolding that clad the building, we must carry on :) besides, that's another reason to visit when it's complete and recapture the scene again.
I managed to make it to the seafront about an hour before local sunset, the light was fading but enough remained to cast that clear golden light on the last third of the pier walk, 'the golden hour'.
Canon 7D, EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 used with a Hoya NDX400 neutral density filter (approx. 9 stop). 6 images captured in bulb mode, combined afterwards subtly in PhotoMatix (3.5s, 7s, 15s, 30s, 60s, 120s).
Tips; check tide times to avoid being disappointed if you turn up and see no beach or can't access the seafront to get that planned shot. When shooting long exposure, especially very long exposure, use bulb mode, use a remote cable release and turn off image stabilisation (the motor may shake the lens and alter the shot, get a good tripod instead). The ND filter will make the scene too dark to confirm auto focus with your eye, use live view if you can and focus auto or manually on the scene. Then, leave the focus on manual so the camera won't try to track focus on your next shutter release and don't touch any of the lens elements until you're done shooting your stack of images.
It may not be to everyone's taste but I'm trying to keep the washed out moody look lately in my photos, so my post processing in Lightroom reflected this mood and atmosphere....
... and here's the original from June 2011, nearly two years ago, selected for this weeks South Wales Echo...