In the Herald - Stormy waters provide the perfect shots

Date Published 
Wed 23 Feb 2022

Living by the coast offers endless opportunities for creative seascape photography.  One of Irvine Camera Club’s newer members, Colin Houston, has developed a real interest in the genre.  That, coupled with his enjoyment of all things meteorological, prompted him to suggest that a few of us should head down to Dunure to capture the tail end of storm Dudley.  

Although the peak of the storm had moved through Ayrshire overnight it was still very windy and wild when we arrived at Dunure Harbour on Thursday morning.   The waves were crashing in on the sweeping beach and breaking spectacularly on the jagged rocks.  Sometimes the enormous breakers would reflect off the rocky outcrops and smash back into the incoming waves, causing strange, almost alien shapes as the resulting mass of water exploded from the boiling sea.  One of the waves reminded me of a Kelpie and with a little bit of photoshop wizardry I merged one of the Falkirk Kelpies into the scene just for a bit of fun.

With the tide rapidly coming in and with the beach quickly disappearing, we headed back around to the castle while we still had sand to walk on.  The light was coming and going as the clouds raced across the sky.  The rocky bay on the north side provided the picture postcard view of the castle picked out by the morning light with an ominous battleship grey sky beyond.

The short walk up to the castle provided some scenic views but by that time the rain had started to fall, so we decided to take shelter there with the pigeons until it stopped.  Then, heading down the steep slope to the beach we got some great photos of the boiling sea to the south of the castle, as well as some good views back to the crumbling ruin.  It is also a great idea to keep your eye open for small details on the beach as these images these can often complement the drama of the seascape.

We headed back towards the quaint little harbour, cold and windswept but happy that we had managed to get some good images in interesting conditions.  It really is worth trying to get out in inclement weather as that can often provide the most interesting light, especially as the weather fronts blow through.  However, please always take care and do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk.  The rocks are slippery and the sea is cold and treacherous.  If you can, go with friends and look out for each other. 

Next week I’ll be bringing you the results of our final photographic print competitions of the season.  Until then, stay safe and enjoy the light!