This was two years in the making to get the right conditions. It involved climbing a vertical ladder onto the narrow sea wall and standing precariously beside m...
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This was two years in the making to get the right conditions. It involved climbing a vertical ladder onto the narrow sea wall and standing precariously beside my tripod to get the shot.
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18 Comments | Report
Angel1957 March 08, 2019
Very artsy. Would hang this one in my house.
bonico March 09, 2019
Beautiful photo/work
ssshoot PRO+
ssshoot March 10, 2019
williambeckett March 11, 2019
I Told Him Not To Have That Last Drink !!!!
JoseMelim March 16, 2019
A Fantastic place and a great composition, Excellent photo work, indeed!
socreative PRO
socreative March 16, 2019
Beautiful! Where was this shot?
ianmountford April 11, 2019
Its St Monans in Fife, Scotland
Cali_Wine_Fan April 21, 2019
Well, those two years of this photo coming together were definitely worth the wait. Wonderful shot!
jensgaethje April 23, 2019
Really nice. Well executed 👍
MRueffer April 29, 2019
Love this
robbish_uk May 02, 2019
A great shot from my village, I must give this a go. Great composition, technique and lighting.
iainsutherland May 09, 2019
great photo of St Monans
katenaibauer May 15, 2019
stevietaylor May 21, 2019
Cracking photo of an iconic pier m8, grew up not far from there myself.
RickL PRO+
RickL July 21, 2019
Exceptional photography
nuevamonica August 02, 2019
Lo bueno, se hace esperar. Qué gran toma! Valió la pena el peligro y todo lo que implicó esta toma! Felicitaciones!
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debbiedee_5006 November 08, 2019
toivido PRO+
toivido December 01, 2019
Wow beautiful
CPKphoto Jun 01
super picture with soft water

Behind The Lens

This is the very unusual sea defence at St Monan's in Fife, Scotland. It really is one of a kind and its wayward zig zags inspired my title for it. This is a very long distance from my home so chances for me to photograph it are very rare. So you pretty much have to accept whatever the weather is doing on the day. I had been here on an earlier trip but was beaten off by a severe gale and wild waves that made getting anywhere near it way too dangerous. So I had to wait for another 2 years for a chance to visit it
I was leaving the North of Scotland and timed my journey to arrive at high tide, which was mid morning. You have to be very careful when gaining this viewpoint. There is a walk down the first pier which has a wall taller than myself hiding any rogue waves that can flood over the top of it and give you an unexpected soaking. Then you have to climb some iron rails set in the wall to reach the top of the wall. There is just enough width to set a tripod up, but you have to stand at the side of it and lean over to your camera to frame the shot. There is also a good drop beneath you, so caution is key.
There were frequent showers and the sun was fleeting between them. I was hoping for a Long Exposure of a minute, but the frequent sea spray made that impossible, so I doubled my ISO and halved my exposure to 30 secs. I cleaned my filters, again! and covered them with a cloth and waited for the sun to light the sea defence before taking my shot. Storm light is always dramatic and well suited to mono work. The dark skies and the searing sunlight gave some stunning light, and the wet wall sparkled in it.
I used a Canon 5D Mk3 with 17-40mm f/4 USM lens at 19mm, ISO 200, 30 secs at f/11. Giottos carbon fibre tripod with Manfrotto geared head. Filters used were a Lee 10 stop ND with Lee 0.6 Grad. A remote cable timer was used.
I had heard about this sea defence and had found it on google maps satellite view. It was the uniqueness of it zig zag shape that immediately drew me to it, and I knew then that I had to visit it at some point.
Because of the frequent sea spray & rain on my filters I could not get a clean shot of the entire image, so I combined two shots that had a clean sky and one that had a clean sea defence. I also added a soft haze on the horizon, so that the sharp lines of the zig zag were prominent. After that some dodge & burning was used enhance the high contrast areas near the centre.
In my camera bag
Nowadays I am using a Sony A7r Mk3 with the Sony 24-105mm, which is a stunningly sharp and adaptable lens. I always have my Lee filters with me, which comprise of a 10, 6 & 2 stop ND, and a .9 & .6 Grad. I use a 3rd party cable timer to time my long exposure shots. My favourite tripod is the lightweight Giottos carbon fibre, and I love my Manfotto geared head because of its ease of use for framing my shots. I also keep a Sony RX100 mk2 in my pocket for quick shots that don't give me time to unpack my other gear.
When planning any shots at the coast you must know your tide times, and what state of tide that suits your subject. I always put safety foremost and prefer to abort and return at a later date if conditions are against me. Be adaptable to the conditions and change your style to suit. Know how to get the best out of your camera and lens before you go.

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