White Rock Beach in Killiney always brings back fond memories for me. The perfect spot for a sunny Dublin swim, or perhaps even a late-night party in my youth? That’s too far back for me to remember with any degree of accuracy, so ill just move swiftly on and concentrate on the photography.
Like so many places in Dublin, and with seascapes in general, the tide is key. Hopefully, we all have a sense there will be 2 high tides per day, 2 low, on a 6-hour cycle. But how does the tide vary throughout the month? Does the wind play a role? When are the biggest tides in the month and of course how do we access this info? Finally and most importantly how do these factors influence my shot?
I’ve spent years shooting Dublin Bay and I’ve never quite managed to get the water in just the right place, plus some great lighting, for a good shoot at White Rock. Easterly wind essential, plus of course that ‘big high tide’ which is linked to the moon phase. Then all we need is for the light and clouds to cooperate and we’re all set. I’m delighted to report this myriad of factors recently aligned for me and the fruits of my labour are below. Hope you guys enjoy!
After a moody break to the day, the light cooperated no end. Swell breaking at my feet, beautiful warm colours at dawn plus even a few rays from above for good measure.
Tech Talk: f11 at .6 of a second. Lee Filters 3 Stop ND and Blend for extreme highlights in Sky. It’s good to sometimes just work the swell until you get the sort of foreground you like texture-wise. There was some really bad seaspray so my grad was already ruined at this point. I decided to blend for the sky. Plus this extreme highlight from the rays often needs to be bracketed anyway.
White Rock Minimal
White Rock, Killiney without the rock. Every wave is totally unique. 100% happy place at the edge of the tide just letting the water swirl around my boots shooting away.
Tech Details: f11 at .8 seconds, Nikon d850 24mm TS lens. Lee Filters Little Stopper and .9 medium grad ND. The key is that every wave is different. I’ll often make 30 exposures from the same position just hoping that one will have a little shape that stands out as was the case with this image.
White Rock Killiney, Daybreak
Some breaking light on a mixed bag forecast and the tide in just the right position. The water over these rocks in Killiney is certainly not assured. Big tide, the right wind, and sunrise all coinciding. Advantages of planning.
Tech Details: f11 at 1/4 of a second. Nikon d850 and my 24 TS lens. I used a Lee 3 Stop ND to get the 1/4 of a second exposure. A 6 or a 10 stop and all water would be blurred. Fully blurred water also looks good but I wanted to capture some swell hence my filter choice. I didn’t use a grad on this occasion as the hot spot was just too localised so I blended exposures in post instead. A common issue shooting into the light especially when you have these wee hotspots.
Apps, weather, clouds, predicting colour, tides, what light, what technique, backlight, sidelight and more.
A hugely detailed examination of the factors to consider when planning your landscape shoots plus what techniques you should employ to deal with what conditions.
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