Faith and tranquility in the storm

Faith and spirituality, Seascapes

IMG_8939

One of the reasons I love photography is that it connects me with my environment and the image making process allows me the opportunity to reflect on my faith.  It may sound strange but through photography I see aspects of God that I wouldn’t otherwise dwell on.

The weather over the Christmas break has been very wet but there was promise of a brief window without rain around dawn today so I dashed down to Selsey to try a couple of quick seascapes.

It was very windy so the tripod needed to be set low to keep it stable. A 0.6 graduated neutral density filter darkened the sky enough to balance it with the sea.  I was aiming for a tranquil image to match my contemplation on what Christmas means to me so I also used a 10 stop neutral density filter to blur the sea and clouds by giving a long shutter speed. The Christmas story is of peace, perfection and purity choosing to step into our broken and messy world to bring hope and healing. This shot and the one below are my simple reflection on how God can bring tranquility within the apparent buffeting, stormy chaos around us if we choose to see it.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Lens: 70-200mm at 100mm
Exposure: 47 sec, f11
ISO 400
Tripod, cable release, ND graduated and ND filters

IMG_8949Here’s another from the same set. For both these shots the sun had risen but was still hidden behind a bank of cloud over to the left.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Lens: 70-200mm at 120mm
Exposure: 43 sec, f11
ISO 400
Tripod, cable release, 0.6 ND graduated  and ND filters

 

IMG_8934_B&WThese first two shots were pretty much what I had envisioned in my mind before I’d arrived at the beach, but to contrast with the peace and restfulness of these images I also wanted to capture the scene in a style that was truer to what lay before me. For this third image I simply used a graduated neutral density filter to hold back the sky and a shutter speed that would just show a small amount of movement to the sea. On reflection, in it’s own small way, this image speaks to me of the unstoppable power released so many years ago in Bethlehem and of the incredible contest that it brought. The set of images remind me that peace can be found within turmoil and that the hope and sacrifice represented by Christmas should change our view of how we see the world.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Lens: 70-200mm at 100mm
Exposure: 1/20 sec, f11
ISO 400
Tripod, cable release, 0.6 ND graduated  filter

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