Sometimes when I start out on a jaunt with my camera, I have a fairly clear idea in mind what it is I'm hoping to achieve. This could be with regards to a particular subject, a combination of elements and weather conditions that I've envisioned previously when things weren't quite suitable - or an afterthought that's struck me having walked away from an opportunity missed at the time. I say sometimes, because there are also occasions when I head out with no preconceptions which can lead to images I'd never have thought of at home. Of course, that latter approach can also lead to a great deal of frustration and an empty memory card!
The subject of this image certainly wasn't my primary target during the early morning drive to Watchet. Instead, I'd had a rather fanciful image in mind that I only wish I could have pulled off... Now I've built it up slightly I'm almost embarrassed to say what it was, but in a word - pigeons. Yes, pigeons. Next to the much-photographed lighthouse (yes, I shot that too), there's a section of the inner harbour wall behind an old iron gate that I've looked at on a number of instances. It's the movement of the resting pigeons that always seem to be behind that gate you see; the sporadic, haphazard and inimitable incongruity they possess that just seems to, well, work somehow. I pictured a long exposure of several minutes shot through the gate, the bars thrown out of focus using a wide aperture - but importantly still just in view, 10 stop and 6 stop filters screwed together enabling this as the rising water in the harbour turned to milk contrasting with the worn blockwork and concrete surfaces. In my mind the movement I described would record as a curious, bizarrely writhing feathered carpet punctuated by beak and claw. Well, I did say it was fanciful...
In reality, and upon arriving, I realised my lenses weren't fast enough to shoot that photograph (note to self: start saving for that coveted f1.2), and that the bars of the gate were perhaps too close together anyway, and that the water was too low, and importantly most of the pigeons seemed to have been tipped off as to my intent and already flown.
So instead I headed up a nearby track and shot the old coastguard station on the hill. Something that I'd completely overlooked on an earlier visit. But, if anyone reading this ever attempts that pigeon shot and pulls it off (remember - the gate has too register slightly), then I want some credit. Plus a print!