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Fine-art photographer Lorna Yabsley reveals how she shot this glistening water from a boat!
Gain fresh inspiration from our range of hot project ideas, from how to shoot sparkling water to creating a Hockney-inspired photo montage, to a fresh twist on the photo book
Living on the south coast of Devon, coastal themes feature heavily in my work. This image was taken on a beautiful morning when the local fishermen were setting nets to catch sand eels – choice bait for bass fishing.
I shot from my battered old dinghy with a 300mm lens. The long lens foreshortens the scene, accentuating the highlights on the broken surface of the water. To be honest, the highlights have lost detail and blown out a bit, but I didn’t get too hung up about this, as the overall effect of a sparkling sea is what I wanted. I positioned myself right in front of the boats with the sun directly behind and above them, for maximum effect. It wasn’t easy to balance in the boat with a heavy lens, but as it was a bright scene it was easy to select a fast shutter speed (1/500 sec). The shot is strongly backlit, a relatively easy exposure when the subjects are in silhouette, and the exposure is metered from the sky and sea. If your camera was on an auto setting, this is the exposure your camera would make for you by reading the brightest parts of the scene, the sky and the sea. However, I’m a firm believer in learning to shoot manually and using your meter to get the exposure you want, rather than letting the camera take control. It is a bit of a steep learning curve but ultimately more rewarding. If you can drive your camera confidently, you can free yourself up to make better and stronger compositions.