Holkham Summer - Storm Front

Location: Holkham Bay on the North Norfolk Coast

Camera Work: ISO 200, F14, 1/320 sec, 18mm Focal Length RAW(12bit)

Technique: I came to this location with no preconceived plans - just a pleasant summers day walk with Barbara on the beach. However, half way through the walk the weather began to change and a massive storm front started to roll in from the North Sea. The clouds in themselves were dramatic but for just a short while a small break appeared enabling the bright sun to break through and create a reflection of the clouds in the surface water on the beach. I knew the exposure would be difficult, but I took a chance and based the exposure on the brightest part of the clouds. - to avoid blowing the highlights. I also needed good depth of field to keep the detail in the reflection.

Post Capture: Exposing for the clouds worked well but in doing so I lost much of the impact from the reflections in the surface water. Some work was required in Nikon Capture NX2. I first adjusted the saturation of the beach to overcome that washed out look and increase the separation between the colours of the reflected white and dark clouds. I then created two separate layers; one for the sky and another for the beach and adjusted the contrast and brightness to achieve the desired effect.

Inspiration: No matter how many people visit this place, Holkham Bay is so vast, esp. when the tide is out, you can always experience that feeling of quiet & solitude.

Style: Minimalist Landscape - This photograph is an unusual one for me. The vision was to create something more impressionistic - here the break in the clouds and the reflection on the golden sands is reminiscent of one of Turner's great Landscapes.

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