Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Winter on the Beach

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 14 November 2008 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

This is one of those photos that I've been thinking about for a while now since I got my first digital camera but up to this point I've never been able to get the result I was after.

This isn't it either but it's getting close so I guess I'll work on it and you may see more similar photos in the future.

This is from the English NW coast where I grew up. It was photographed at dusk using an extreme wide angle lens with two neutral density filters screwed onto it to bring down the light by 16 stops and allow me to get a (sort of) decent exposure at a very slow 4 minute shutter speed.

A by-product of using two stacked filters over a lens this wide is the dark vignette which is where the light entering the lens is catching the edges of the filter but I don't object to it in this instance - in fact i think it adds something to the photo.

NIKON D40 1206/5 second F/5.6 ISO 200 16 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

bluechameleon from Vancouver, Canada

Your description of how this was taken fascinated me and I would have loved to have seen you set up and take this shot. A wonderful glow here, and as much as I love black and white images, I really can't see this being anything but colour. Congratulations on a wonderful piece.

14 Nov 2008 5:32am

@bluechameleon: Thanks Sharon....warm clothes, boots and a tripod and that's about it I'm afraid - nothing spectacular in the set up, but the scenery and the light shining on the wet sand were gorgeous. What you can't see on this photo because it's behind me is the glory of the sun dipping below the horizon....maybe I'll post that one on Monday. It's a conventional seaside sunset shot but hey, we all take those don't we!

Laurie from New Jersey, United States

I actually find this one to be superb. The result is wonderful even if it wasn't exactly what you set out to get.

14 Nov 2008 5:54am

@Laurie: Thanks Laurie....long exposure photography is rewarding and frustrating in about equal measure and I never seem to quite get quite the result I was expecting. Sometimes it's much better and sometimes I feel like I've missed an opportunity....this is one of the latter!

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

I like very much the results of this very laborious image, and I think that in much larger format has to be very beautitful.

14 Nov 2008 6:29am

@Paco Díaz: Thanks Paco....I love taking these long exposure photos so I don't see the process as being laborious although there's always the worry about forgetting something on the technical side which might (and often does) ruin the photo.

The biggest single challenge is getting the exposure right because usually you only get one this case, 4 minutes for the exposure and another 4 minutes for the camera to internally process the image due it's noise reduction process means that at dusk the light has gone if the first photo didn't work out.

Marie from Isère, France

I love this shot. Great colours, composition and format

14 Nov 2008 6:40am

Suzanne Cummings from Huntington Bch, United States

Oh my, this is absolutely stunning.

14 Nov 2008 7:19am

Reiner from Brensbach, Germany

Extraordinary image and I agree that the vignetting makes it. One of my favorites.

14 Nov 2008 7:45am

thib from Angers, France

Very original. Great ambiance and colors. I love it

14 Nov 2008 8:02am

GJC from Kyoto, Japan

A classic shot of yours with lots of beautiful, pearly smooth surfaces. The dashes of color are delightful and very painterly.

14 Nov 2008 8:05am

Vink from Grasse - French riviera, France

Simply marvelous ! you're an artist ! In my collection !

14 Nov 2008 8:09am

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom

very good image

14 Nov 2008 9:14am

TILALA from Bordeaux, France

Absolutly wonderful and original !

14 Nov 2008 10:11am

Veronelle from Lens, France

beautifull colors on this photo

14 Nov 2008 11:51am

Giovanni from Milan, Italy

This is a wonderful shot! I love the long exposure, the soft tones, the vignette and the bright area in the center of the frame. Five stars!

14 Nov 2008 1:08pm

Tom from United Kingdom

Beautiful colour range in this picture.

Excellent work.

14 Nov 2008 1:19pm

Betsy Barron from Glenmoore, United States

this is terrific! I've done similar with a homemade variable ND (linear over circular) to get about 8 extra stops of light - and it does leave the dark vignette, but I agree, it's part of the image and works!!!!

14 Nov 2008 1:22pm

thierry from conde sur noireau, France

simple and wonderful !!!!

14 Nov 2008 1:52pm

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Love this so very much Ian! I guess the vignette has successfully drawn me into this wonderful dreamy image... yes, it made me feel like being in the mid of a dream and I could almost see a lusty small boy called Ian playing around this beach despite the cold winter.:-) Congrats my dear on knowing what you're after and getting close! Look forward to seeing alot more!

14 Nov 2008 2:09pm

Daryl from Amagasaki, Japan

It's worked very well. Beautifully dreamy.

14 Nov 2008 2:21pm

Mark Smith from Burlington, United States

great photo. I really like the method you used to capture this. It is still good to see people not solely relying on a computer to produce effects in a photo. very well done.

14 Nov 2008 2:51pm

Daniel from Kenmare, United States

interesting shot.

14 Nov 2008 2:56pm

Desparado from Despo Ville, India

very well shot!!

14 Nov 2008 4:54pm

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

You ARE killing me...geesh Ian you are amazing!

14 Nov 2008 5:45pm

sorter from tehran, Iran

well ,............... i mean wow !

14 Nov 2008 5:59pm

linus. from Singapore, Singapore

love the tones.. gorgeous

14 Nov 2008 6:35pm

Helen from Melbourne, Australia

Thanks for being so generous with your methods Ian. This is just beautiful. 'Beautiful' doesn't quite do the job in describing this work, but it is such a peaceful, visually satisfying photograph without even entering into compliments about your technical expertise. You are very talented Ian. I really enjoy visiting your blog.

14 Nov 2008 9:43pm

MaryP from Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom

There is nothing i can add to that already said by Helen, above, except maybe to say that your portfolio is superb.

14 Nov 2008 10:42pm

MaryP from Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom

There is nothing i can add to that already said by Helen, above, except maybe to say that your portfolio is superb.

14 Nov 2008 10:42pm

Alphons from Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands

Very special almost abstract picture. Has power in it.

14 Nov 2008 11:05pm

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Fabulous effect!

14 Nov 2008 11:42pm

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

Nice work Ian, and a lovely result, the colors have turned out well.

14 Nov 2008 11:51pm

JJ from Jersey City, United States

brilliant work, really appreciate your explanation of how you took it, helps beginners like me get ideas of things to try in the future, I agree with you the vignette does add to this shot

15 Nov 2008 1:31am

Nataly from Santa Monica, United States

This is true celebration of color. Beautiful image Ian. Love the blur and the softness here. And the vignette works just perfect. Really well done!

15 Nov 2008 5:32am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

the vignetting in this shot helps the viewer to focus on the flag and the light fall off towards the edges adds a bit of extra "dreaminess" to the scene, which works especially well with the blurred flag and clouds as a result of the long exposure... wonderful photo!

15 Nov 2008 8:09am

Em!ly Ng from Studying in: Adelaide, Australia | Home:, Afghanistan

i love the edges of Night. it's as if u brushed aside the cover of night to reveal Day. (But that's just me). gives it dynamism

i love the Paddlepop sky. and the movement of that flag.

this photo is so smooth

15 Nov 2008 9:29pm

Andy from United States

I really like it. Love the colors and the hazy feeling to this photo.

15 Nov 2008 9:50pm

Cheryl from Texas, United States

nice effect Ian! It's really beautiful with just a dab of colour!

16 Nov 2008 1:15pm

Marcie from United States

Absolutely stunning. Love the simplicity and color.

16 Nov 2008 5:33pm

Barbara from Florida, United States

Striking image, even if it isn't exactly what you wanted to accomplish.

20 Nov 2008 4:58am

Phototherapy from Switzerland

I LOVE these colors and these 2 circles of light in the composition. Wonderful shot, almost abstract!

24 Nov 2008 10:24pm

Jonas from Vitória, Brazil

The kind of composition very difficult to explain the reason why it's working so well. Just fascinating!

9 Dec 2008 6:35pm

1206/5 second
ISO 200
16 mm (35mm equiv.)