Bad Weather

There is no bad weather, just bad clothes. So the saying goes. Well, when the storm hits the coast most people stay inside, which is the sane thing to do.

JM3965-squashed
The storm hits the coastal promenade in Varberg with brute force.

The summer of 2018 was immensely beautiful and warm. However, I have written in other journal posts here that this also meant that the coastline and the skies were so calm, and without definition, it almost got boring. As a landscape photographer I began longing for dramatic skies and waves. Sometimes it's best to be careful with what you wish for. On this September evening my wishes came true, with lots to spare.

For about two days the clouds had gathered, the winds had been picking up speed, and rain had been hitting the streets. A storm was coming. I got my gear ready and when the evening turned darker I went down to the coastal promenade just south of the city centre in Varberg. This site offers nice views towards the lighthouse in the South, and the fortress to the North. There is also a bathing pier here, that offers a god spot for placing the tripod on for good viewing angles.

When I got down to the shoreline the wind was blowing extremely hard. The air was saturated with fine salty droplets from the gusts of wind and the waves crashing onto the shores, and there was some rain in the air. The clouds were dramatically dark, and it was not easy to see. When I walked across the rocky shoreline I slipped a few times, and even fell on one occasion. Risky business! I soon figured that going out on the pier was not a good idea. The waves were crashing over the pier, and the wind struck hard. I placed my tripod on solid ground just where the pier started instead, for stability. I visualized that I could at least make two photographs, one along the shoreline to the South, and one of the pier, where the waves were making patterns as they splashed up on the concrete and then withdrew again.

JM3959-squashed
Interesting patterns are formed when the waves splash over the concrete pier and then withdraw.

I went about mounting the tripod and the camera. I decided to use a soft grad ND filter (LEE Filters) in front of the camera lens, since it is easier to swipe off the filter from droplets than the camera lens itself. The wind kept pushing the tripod and camera, so I had my backpack stabilizing it with its weight. However, conditions were so severe that camera movement could not be avoided. If the photographs I show here are scrutinized, it shows quite clearly. But I am not afraid to show photographs that are not technically perfect. Sometimes just being out there and making photographs is what really counts. And since most people never get to experience a storm hitting the coast face on, the photographs have value.


Technical notes

Camera: Fujifilm GFX 50S
Lens: Fujifilm Fujinon 32-64mm/f4 R LM WR @ 32mm
Miscellaneous: Camera placed on tripod, LEE Filters soft graduated ND filter (+3 stops)
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