15/52 Low Light (and a rookie mistake)

Photography, of course, is all about light. That doesn’t mean though that the best pictures are taken in full midday sun. I generally favour a dark, verging on under-exposed shot over a fully lit one, so I really enjoy shooting when the light is low, although it does bring challenges of its own, not least when you forget to adjust your ISO like an eejit. Yes, I am admitting that I shot these on ISO 200, all the time wondering why they weren’t brighter. However, I rather like what I managed to get, despite the fact that I might have done better work if I’d used the right settings.

These were shot on an evening stroll in Folkestone. The newly renovated Harbour Arm was open for the Easter holidays so we walked down there from the Leas. The old boat-train station has been lovingly restored and the broad sweeping curve of the platform down to the lighthouse (and now Champagne bar) at the end looked lovely in the evening light, with the sky reflected in the waiting room windows. Sadly, the shot I took was not the one I wanted, the foreground suffered from my senior moment with the ISO.

The ISO blunder was less of a problem with more sky in these pictures and I liked the lines leading the eye to the lighthouse in the first image. The soft colours of the post-sunset sky gave everything a pretty pastel hue and the clear night mean that you can see France in the far distance. It’s that grey lump on the horizon to the left of the lighthouse!

Folkestone harbour arm. Copyright Fiona Michie.
Folkestone harbour arm. Copyright Fiona Michie.


Folkestone harbour light. Copyright Fiona Michie.
Folkestone harbour light. Copyright Fiona Michie.

The last shot was taken on our walk back along the coastal path. It really was getting dark then and I decided to see what I could do with a long exposure, hand-held. With a bit of steadying help from the railings, I got this dramatic sky with one of the curved bays in the foreground. The light blurring from the long exposure gives it the feeling of a painting. I promise, I have not fiddled with the colour at all. This is as taken.

Folkestone beach, after sunset. Copyright Fiona Michie.

These have made me want to spend some time working on long exposure with a tripod, using the right bloomin’ settings, and probably not after a glass of Prosecco. Watch this space for a better effort.


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