As I had a few moments to spare after the earlier disappointment waiting for the fog to clear at Corfe Castle, I decided to go back to Kimmeridge Bay and see what I could capture at sunset. As it's only a thirty minute drive from my house I managed to get down there for 16:00, an hour and a half before sunset to find a composition I liked and setup ready for the display.
I was lucky enough to be one of the first photographers there and managed to quickly setup my tripod to capture one of the main rock formations leading out into the sea. The sky was incredibly clear and not much was going on so I found an intriguing foreground to help lead the viewers eyes into the image, placing the horizon line on the top third. Luckily enough this little pebble path was present between an indent in the rocks, making the perfect foreground subject for my composition and something different to all the other photos I have seen previously.
Time to invest in LEE Filters?
During the spectacular sunset I was really struggling to expose for both the foreground and bright sky, so had to make do with exposing for the sky and hoping to bring out the shadows in post production. After chatting with some fellow photographers (there was over a dozen of us in the end - a very popular location and you can see why!) one kind gentleman let me have a go with the LEE Big Stopper and 0.9 Soft Graduation Filter... something I have been contemplating investing in for a few months. It incredibly turned a 1.6s exposure into 320s to give me that dreamy soft water effect over the rocks, convincing me to take the plunge and order my own kit!
To show a side by side comparison, I have merged the two photos in Photoshop to show you the primary difference a longer exposure gives you when shooting by the water:
Many thanks for giving my blog post a read and I hope if anything this has given you the motivation to get out with your camera and get shooting! I will make sure to upload a tutorial on using the Big Stopper as soon as it is delivered and look forward to having a play with some super long exposures.