Serendipity

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - St. Ambrose

When I can I really like to plan a photography trip. In addition to the aesthetic and technical qualities in photos, I find that an additional source of satisfaction of a good bunch of keepers is the feeling that I captured the subject I wished, in the way I planned. For instance, I've recently been in Bourgogne and I had figured out with a lot of anticipation some landscape shots immersed in the autumnal fog. The trip - at least a part of it - went substantially in the way I wished.

But sometimes it's just a matter of serendipity: you go after something and come back with something else. Yesterday I went for a trip to the island of St-Honorat, in the bay of Cannes, as in the past years I had been there with mediocre weather and light (furthermore, I didn't find an opportunity yet to test my new Sony NEX-6 in full sun light on a “real“ location).

Yesterday looked perfect, according to the forecast of Météo France.

Les nuages ​​enfin s'ouvrent sur la mer.

Nikon D5100 + Nikkor 18-70mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED DX AF-S @ 18 mm, 1/500 sec @ ƒ/8, -2.33 EV, ISO 110, monopod.

A few setbacks made me miss by a few minutes the last boat of the day to the island, so I had to revert to the B-plan: driving a few kilometres more and reach the Esterel massif, whose orange/red rocks create beautiful chromatic contrasts with the blue sea under the sun light. Despite the forecasts, in the thirty minutes needed for the additional drive the weather quickly turned bad: a layer of clouds coming from west obscured the sun - bye bye to chromatic contrast. I could even hear distant thunders and for a moment I thought it was better to give up. So I reached Cap du Dramont where there is a beautiful trail whose advantage is that it leads to a very good vista point in a few minutes; in other words, if you get surprised by rain, you can quickly go back to the parking lot.

Après la tempête.

Nikon D5100 + Nikkor 18-70mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED DX AF-S @ 70 mm, 1/500 sec @ ƒ/8, -2.33 EV, ISO 100, monopod.

When I got out of the woods in which the first part of the trail runs, I was rewarded: the sky started to open at the boundary of the incoming storm, letting some intense sunbeams to reach the surface of the sea. Those sunbeams came and went for a few minutes, continuously changing shape: I just kept on shooting with the 18-70mm zoom at different focals. Exposure was tricky and I basically went by trial and error, paying attention not to burn the highlights; the details in shadow have been then recovered during post-processing.

Les nuages ​​enfin s'ouvrent sur la mer.

Nikon D5100 + Nikkor 18-70mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED DX AF-S @ 35 mm, 1/500 sec @ ƒ/8, -2.33 EV, ISO 100, monopod.

It's definitely not the kind of shots I was after and I couldn't run the planned test for the Sony NEX-6; but I'm pretty happy with the results.

Après la tempête.

Nikon D5100 + Nikkor 18-70mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED DX AF-S @ 60 mm, 1/500 sec @ ƒ/8, -2.33 EV, ISO 100, monopod.