Surf’s Up!

Looks like I’m behind a bit with this blog.. Time to catch up on recent photo adventures!

I spent a couple of weeks in New York City again recently, and while I enjoy short stints there every now and then, it really is great to get away from the constant hustle and bustle of the city. So when Mark suggested we go somewhere for the weekend, I was obviously all for it.

Initially we were thinking of heading into the New England states. But driving times vs daylight hours plus photo stops equalled a lot of stress and not a lot of sleep, considering we only had Saturday and Sunday to play with. That’s even too crazy for my liking.

Long Island then popped up in conversation, and considering I’d not been there before, it sounded like a fun idea. Especially because there’s a lighthouse at the very tip of the peninsula too – so obviously we had to head there for sunrise.

So the sensible thing to do would have been to drive out on Friday evening, stay in a nice hotel, get up early, shoot sunrise, back to the hotel for breakfast and a snooze, photograph some other nice locations nearby, and then stay another night.
Actually, that was the plan until I saw the hotel prices, and decided that staying just one night would at least allow us to eat that weekend… The expression “crazy expensive” doesn’t even half cover it.
I really need to start playing the lottery.

As a result of the above debacle, we ended up leaving New York City at 3am, which meant we rocked up about three hours later, and perfectly in time for sunrise, at Montauk Point State Park. Well done Mark for getting us there safely whilst I was snoozing in the car 🙂

Since it was still pretty dark when we arrived, it was difficult to figure out where we should go to take photos. My solution was to have another power nap first, though five minutes later I was told to bundle up and grab my camera as it was getting light fast. In fairness, there was already a stunning thin dark blue and orange line on the horizon, indicating that the show was about to begin.
So minutes later, we found the path down to the beach, followed by a number of other people who were heading in the same direction. Although.. They did all carry on walking into the water. Turns out they were anglers, not photographers, and standing on rocks that were being battered by the crashing waves, was the done thing for them!


As a landscape photographer, having people in my photos is something that’s always annoyed me. But I am beginning to come round to the idea that sometimes, just sometimes, people can actually add interest or even scale to the scene you’re photographing.

That morning could potentially just have been another sunrise on the beach, but there was so much going on in the early hours that the different elements were begging to be combined somehow.

20190921-5428.jpgIt also gave me an opportunity to experiment with my camera settings a bit, like in the shot on above here. Obviously the sun was already above the horizon, so the light was actually quite harsh at this point. But it seemed silly not to make use of being able to snap some angler silhouettes, so I adjusted the camera accordingly and carried on shooting. The above was taken at f16, ISO100, 1/125s

Once the day was in full swing and the sun was starting to warm us up a bit, a new group of people made their way onto the beach and into the sea. Turns out this area is a popular surfing spot too. And it was easy to see why: the waves were pretty amazing, and it did not take the masses of surfers out at sea very long to catch a wave to show off their skills. Every now and then there’d be someone riding high on a triple wave, carving the water like a pro. And other times you’ll catch a surfer getting swallowed up by the water just meters before the shore.
It was fascinating to watch and great “moving target practice” for a landscape photographer like me. I’m still trying to work out the camera best settings to use on moving subjects, so an opportunity like this is always great to learn.
It’s also nowhere near as frustrating as trying to photograph tiny little swallows zooming and zig-zagging around in the sky – something we did a little later in the day on the way to the hotel.

Overall, this weekend in the Hamptons was brilliant and perfect in every way.
It really was a shock to the system when we drove back to the City and were yet again surrounded by people, cars, and noise.

Check out the photos from this weekend, in the New York gallery on my website.
And of course don’t forget to like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram.

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