I recently visited Hiroshi Sugimoto’s ‘Time Machine’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London.

It featured his amazing Seascapes. So beautifully serene and calming were they, I wanted to jump right in.

This inspired me to post about a mini-project I created during the pandemic years beside my home.

'Half light'. Location: England's south coast - Branksome Dene Chine, Bournemouth. Photographer Simon Tomkinson.
'Half light'. Location: England's south coast - Branksome Dene Chine, Bournemouth. Photographer Simon Tomkinson.

They are a bit melancholic but they reflect what was a pretty bleak time. The project is in two parts – moonlit and sunlit.

I have always been interested by the dawn light just before sunrise. Moonlight is a fascinating light that I had never explored before.

So it led to this unusual series of photographs I called ‘Half light’, reflecting both the subject matter and the human world around that time.

'Half light'. Location: England's south coast - Branksome Dene Chine, Bournemouth. Photographer Simon Tomkinson.

With the moon roughly half lit by the sun, so in a ‘quarter’ phase, it worked well with the project title and theme.

However, what I love most about the photographs above is the moonlight reflection on the water.

Like a path always leading towards the moon, known as moonwake I believe. The water is so very calm and calming.

'Half light'. Location: England's south coast - Alum Chine, Bournemouth. Photographer Simon Tomkinson
'Half light'. Location: England's south coast - Sandbanks, Poole. Photographer Simon Tomkinson.

The sun lit photographs, both above and below, I find are a little more dramatic.

Perhaps due to the rougher seas, the more dynamic angles or just that there is more visible.

Anyway, it is certainly a very different take on seashore and seascape photography.

'Half light'. Location: England's south coast - Alum Chine, Bournemouth. Photographer Simon Tomkinson.
'Half light'. Location: England's south coast - Alum Chine, Bournemouth. Photographer Simon Tomkinson.

For all the photographs I used my trusty 5d ii and beautiful 50mm L 1.2 lens.

I find that you don’t necessarily need to use wide angle lenses to do ‘scapes (a commonly held belief).

The exposures were quite long, anything up to 30 secs. This enabled a low ISO and thereby minimal noise.

'Half light'. Location: England's south coast - Sandbanks, Poole. Photographer Simon Tomkinson.

Comments welcome below. I will endeavour to respond asap.

(The ability to comment on each post is turned off 1 year from date of post).

Location

Poole Bay, south coast of England.

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