Sunday, 14 November 2010

Horizon Fire (for my dad)

Atlantic Ocean, Biscarrosse. I took this photo with my Dad.  We had walked to the beach together, DSLRs in hand with the intention of capturing a firey west coast sunset, and we weren't disappointed. It was a fantastic sundown, which just kept improving with time. So much so, we ended up being late for dinner, neither of us really wanting to leave and had to stumble back through the forest in dusky shadows, chilly from the ocean breeze and disappearing sun.
My Dad is my true photography inspiration- someone who has a really natural and instinctive understanding of how to take a great photo. He grew up as the photographer in his family, and as a result we have countless brilliant photos and slides of days gone by. He had his own darkroom in his teens and learned the fundamental balance of light, aperture and exposure. Growing up on family holidays and trips, Dad always had a camera and as a kid I was always fascinated by all their buttons, and lenses and the way he handled them so carefully. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I took a real interest and was allowed to have a go with his camera- with his supervision and advice. Aligning the two focus planes was my first challenge, leaving him to set all the other variables to ensure my first sucessful shot. Since then, I worked my way through various point and shoot cameras until finally getting my first SLR. This in turn inspired me to undertake a course in black and white SLR photography and development. Dad passed on various camera bodies and lenses to me, and allowed me to experiment myself- but always taking a shared interest. We even set up a dark room one winter at his house, but his ancient enlarger was leaking light like a sieve and the results were hazy at best! DSLRs were a natural progression for Dad, and I soon followed suit after enviously looking through his great shots of his world travels. 
To this day, Dad is by far a better photographer than I am. The evening of this photo, I took what felt like hundreds of photos. Even now I am not fully satisfied with the end result. Dad however must have taken a third of what I took, and managed to get a shot just as good, if not better than this one. He also got to appreciate the sunset more, as he wasn't messing about trying to figure which things to change to further improve his shots. I think, the time may have come for me to dig out my SLR again to brush up on the basics...


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