08
Nov
12

Wet Feet; the price of a photo

The northerly wind was blowing hard and raising the sea into rolling crests. The strong autumn sun behind me gave a light of excellent quality, when it wasn’t behind the shower clouds that were racing across the sky.

Brent Geese, Eider, Auks and Starlings were sometimes flying quite close inshore following the coast north as they fought the headwind. What I wanted was a shot of birds flying through the spray of the breaking waves; a photo that would convey some of the drama of the moment. I stood with camera on tripod as far down the beach as I could … and waited. Four Snow Buntings flicked past at knee height fighting the wind and sand peppered my waterproofs as I stood attempting to see birds over the waves.

As I concentrated on the horizon my camera lurched and the tripod sank a little in the sand, a split second after I followed. This was followed by some penetrating cold seawater over my boots. The sea was telling me to retreat a little.

Eventually a flock of Eider came close enough for a few shots.

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