18 November 2021 (Connecting with the Coast through Photography)

This week Kim Grant visited the club virtually and gave us a Zoom talk entitled “Connecting with the Coast through Photography”. Many members were familiar with Kim’s work through her YouTube channel, where she describes her adventures as a landscape photographer and gives hints and tips for other photographers:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvkiZKobeYV4qO-KSvrL_9w

Kim also has her own web site, where you can see more of her work and find out about her training programme:

https://visualisingscotland.co.uk/

Kim began by describing her love of the Scottish landscape, which inspired her to take up photography and start her YouTube channel in 2017. She then explained how there was so much to see in the landscape even if you narrow the scope to just coastal photography. The coast can be viewed in different ways. You can take panoramic views from a clifftop. You can take wide angle views from the beach, showing the shape of the coves and rocks, or show people and activities. There are rocky beaches, sandy beaches, caves, lighthouses, coastal villages and harbours. You can take a wide angle shot showing the sweep of the landscape, or zoom in and highlight one intimate detail on the beach, such as an object washed up by the tide or the striking shapes and colours made by a group of rocks or a patch of seaweed.

Kim described how the timing and weather might dictate what kind of photographs you take. The very best time to capture a wide vista of pristine sand is when low tide happens at sunrise. The tide will have washed away all the footprints from the previous day. An early morning low tide is also the best time to find interesting objects washed up on the beach. Low tide also offers the chance to photograph rock pools and capture beautiful sunset reflections. If you stay a while after sunset you can capture lovely twilight shots during the “blue hour”. And if you are really lucky you could capture an image of the Northern Lights over the sea. Low tide is also the best time to photograph caves. High tide is the best time to photograph harbours and coves, which will be full of water, and the boats will be floating. In calm to moderate weather you can create serene, minimalist seascapes by using an ND filter and long exposures. You can also use Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) to create abstract images which enhance the colours and shapes. Kim recommended experimenting with different exposure times and amount of movement, as you will never capture the same shot twice. Bad weather brings the opportunity to photograph crashing waves and perilous scenes, contrasted with the shelter offered by a coastal village.

Kim ended the evening by showing us some of her favourite coastal shots, followed by a long question and answer session. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening, and Kim gave us all inspiration to go out and photograph the Scottish coastline.

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