Getting into the Zone

The sea is an eternal subject that lets us slow down, as David Hay tells us of his trip to Aberdeen beach in Scotland

We all lead busy lives. But, for creative pastimes like photography, it is important to slow down and let our senses take over. By keeping an open mind about what we are going to photograph, we can let our brains seek out less obvious details that could make a striking image. Preconceived ideas about what to photograph at a location can be a good starting point but, by relaxing and getting into the ‘zone’, we can start to see many other photographic possibilities.

Recently I wanted to photograph the sea defences on Aberdeen beach. For my first visit I had only half an hour before I had to go to an arranged meeting. I took some record shots of the scene but was constantly aware of the limited time available and didn’t settle down to get good images. However, I felt the area deserved a second visit and arranged to go at high tide. This was a mistake. The ends of the sea defences were marked by circular metal structures on poles. To get these features to show up against the sky, I had to collapse my tripod and spread the legs out until my camera was just above the water. I have a cheap, disposable tripod that I use in saltwater, which is slowly dissolving away with corrosion. The incoming ...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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