Friday, April 03, 2009

Summer colours in spring

click photo to enlarge
As I stood on the shingle at Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, and gazed at this building I reflected that you just can't plan for an English spring. In recent days the weather had been fluctuating between warm and bright, and overcast and chilly, with night-time frosts when the sky was clear. We'd put our fleeces on, then cast them, then put them back on again. Gloves and hats had been necessary at 9.00, but packed away by 10.30. However, on Wednesday afternoon, replete with fish and chips, hazy cloud and RAF Typhoons above, and jacketless in a crisp wind, we walked out to this Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) station. And, as we did the cloud cleared to reveal the deepest azure blue. It was April 1st, but the blue sky and bright colours made it seem like August 1st.

Brightness and colour like this, after an English winter, seems almost Mediterranean in its intensity, and on that walk a lot of people with cameras seemed driven to record it. However, I appeared to be the only one fixated by this structure that houses the local lifeboats - everyone else was snapping yachts or each other. The building itself was interesting enough: a well-lit, pleasing combination of shapes and colour, with a flag next to it adding a vertical accent. However, it was the two yellow beach markers that really made the arrangement stand out for me. Though only small in the viewfinder, these two points of complementary brightness intensified the deepness of the blue, completed the set of primary colours, and made a contribution that far outweighed their size. So, I walked around and arranged this composition with the building to the left, the markers to the right, a bit of sea for context, plenty of foreground shingle, and just as much blue sky. With any luck I'll be by the coast again when bright colours abound, but, after the turn the weather has taken - cold easterly winds, low cloud, and bits of drizzle - I think that will be in August!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 13mm (26mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/1600 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On