Tag Archives: formby

Where to Find Great Light

Formby Beach at Sunset. Fuji X-T3 with Fuji 16-80 lens.

If there’s one location that seems to always deliver great light, it’s the coast. There’s something almost magical about the quality of light there. If the weather is good and the time of day right, you’re likely to get great light. This image I shot at Formby is no exception.

Formby can be a very challenging location to photograph. For a start, the beach is completely flat and largely featureless. For interest, you need to focus your attention on the streams, gullies and sand patterns of the beach. It’s true that it has great sand dunes, but these are equally as challenging in other ways.

For me, the best time to visit this beach is for sunset as it’s facing west. Although I’m not a fan of shooting into the sun at sunset, I like the colour it produces once the sun dips below the horizon. If there’s high cloud in the sky it can produce a magical sunset and if the sky is clear you can still get great colours.

But what’s really made a difference in this shot is that the tide has turned and is on its way out. When this happens, it leaves the sand ripples filled with water. It also leaves the surface of the beach free from footprints and more importantly, wet. Wet sand acts as a huge mirror, reflecting and intensifying the light from the sky. When you can bring together a sunset/sunrise and receding tide, that’s the best time to shoot a beach.

I used a Fuji X-T3 to capture the image with Fuji 16-80 at 25mm. The camera was set to ISO160 and aperture f/14.0 giving a 1” shutter speed. Although there’s a lot of reflected light on the beach I still used a 0.9 Soft ND Grad on the sky. When I removed the grad, the beach appeared too dark, and I like to get the image looking good in camera.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No. 178

Wooden structure on Formby Beach
Wooden structure on Formby Beach. Fuji X-T2, 55-200 lens at 128mm, ISO200, 1/1600″ at f/5.6

In the sand dunes of Formby Beach stands a tall wooden structure. I’m not sure how tall it is but I would guess around 10m, perhaps more. At the top of the wooden structure is a large wooden triangle. What it’s for I have no idea, but it makes a great subject for a shot.

I have captured this object many times and always been disappointed. Even this image has sat on my hard drive for a couple of months and I never new what to do with it. Today I wanted a break from writing my next book so thought I would experiment a little with this image. This is the result.

I hope you like it and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No. 169

Formby Beach at Sunset
Formby Beach at Sunset. Captured using a Fuji X-T2. Please see text for full details.

It’s felt like an eternity since I witnessed a good sunset or sunrise. But last weekend, I made a trip over to Formby with a friend and it was as if everything just fell into place.

The day had been a little frustrating, alternating between too much cloud and not enough. As we sat on a rock, about an hour from sunset the sky was crystal clear. I didn’t hold out much hope of a sunset. Then, the clouds seemed to change direction and a large formation drifted slowly across the sky. It didn’t seem to be moving fast enough to reach the sun in time. But it did, and the scene was glorious.

I captured this frame on the Fuji X-T2 with a 10-24 lens. I had the camera mounted on a tripod which was set quite low, probably about two feet from the ground. I also got to use my new Kase Wolverine Reverse Grad filter which made an amazing difference to the scene. I’m a complete convert after one outing – using this filter on sunsets is amazing. The camera was set to ISO200 and the aperture stopped down to f/13.0. I did this primarily to create a star effect around the sun. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for this frame as the sun had dipped just that little too low.

I should also say that I didn’t process this RAW file in Lightroom either. I opted instead for Capture One Pro 11, which seems to have added a remarkable amount of subtle colour detail into the clouds. Lightroom in comparison rendered most of the cloud above the sun as a monotone mass of colour. In Capture One the cloud looks like more like flames. I’m going to run a few more trials on Capture One as the image quality appears much better than a couple of versions back, especially with the Fuji RAW files.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No.146

Formby. Fuji X-T2, 50-140mm f/2.8 Fuji lens. ISO200, f/14.0, 1/125″. Tripod mounted.

For this week’s Friday Image, I want to share a shot from a recent trip to Formby. If you want to see more of the trip I posted the video on You Tube yesterday.

When I visit Formby I usually seem to come away with some shots I like. This time though things seemed different. I didn’t hold out much hope for the shots and nothing seemed to be going well. When I can to review the images after the shoot, a few did seem to stand out, including this one.

I didn’t think this would work very well in colour but the Fuji seemed to make a good job of things. I applied the Provia Colour Profile in Lightroom and the image seemed to come to life. A few tweaks in Viveza and it was finished.

Hope you like the image and have a great weekend.