A Grand Day Out (RPS)

On a bitterly cold Saturday in October I turned up for my first ever RPS meet-up. Despite having rejoined the RPS in 2012 I have only previously attended talks and the like so this was to be my first time shooting as part of a group of RPS members.

© Dave Whenham

8.03am – cold but an interesting start to the day

There were around twelve of us in the group including Mick  who was our guide and facilitator for the day. I had arrived soon after 7.30am for a 9am start. It was dark and very cold but I was very soon joined by another first-timer. I almost missed sunrise at 8.01am due to a call of nature but iPhone to the rescue and I had a snap for my blog at least!

We were in New Brighton on the Wirral and the main purpose of the day was long exposure photography so after a quick calling of the register there was soon a forest of tripods on the beach. It was a forest that was soon in rapid retreat however as the tide was coming in much faster than many of us expected. Stood a metre or so from the waters edge I was lucky to get a shot composed and exposed before waves were lapping around my feet. Good job we had been told to bring our wellies. I wasn’t alone in performing this tripod-wave dance either. Luckily Mick had all the tide details written down so he kept us all on the straight and narrow.

© Dave Whenham

3:14pm – New Brighton Lighthouse aka Perch Rock Lighthouse (long exposure)

A blow-by-blow account of the day would soon become tedious so instead I will just comment briefly on my impressions of the day. I wasn’t keen on going initially, mainly because there was no stated limit to the group size and I was concerned about shooting in a large group in a relatively small area. Would we be forever getting in each other’s way I wondered? I needn’t have worried though as on the day common sense prevailed and the occasional photographer who strayed into shout was quickly moved by a friendly shout. No names, no pack drill of course!

I am usually a solo photographer, occasionally shooting with a good friend but normally on my own so this was a big reservation for me but despite this I chose to go partly out of curiosity and partly because my wife told me not to be so curmudgeonly and anti-social. I’m glad I did as I was told! Everyone was friendly and welcoming and I made a couple of new friends into the bargain. I didn’t catch many of the other people’s names but spoke albeit briefly to most of them during the day – I just wish I had a better memory for names.

© Dave Whenham

12:59pm – Minimalist long exposures at West Kirby

The knowledge of Mick, our friendly and approachable guide, saved all of us lots of aimless wandering and exploring as he guided us to areas of particular interest. This is also knowledge that I can apply when I return for a solo shoot at a later date.

So, what did I get from the day? Well, certainly, a few half-decent images which I am looking forward to printing in due course. I also got to chat about photography for most of my waking hours that day without boring the wife to tears. It’s not something I’d want to do every day but chatting photography with some other enthusiasts was very enjoyable.  Most importantly though I enjoyed the company of a group of like-minded people.

Even this anti-social curmudgeon had to admit it was a grand day out!

A Day on the Beach – in pictures

I will write a narrative blog post shortly but in the meantime here are eleven images from a day on the Wirral recently. I arrived at 7.30am, in the dark, and left at 6.30pm, also in the dark.

New Brighton Lighthouse or Perch Rock Lighthouse, is a decommissioned lighthouse situated at the confluence of the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay on an outcrop off New Brighton known locally as Perch Rock. Together with its neighbour, the Napoleonic era Fort Perch Rock, it is one of the Wirral’s best known landmarks.

© Dave Whenham

8:03am (iPhone)

© Dave Whenham

8:03am (iPhone)

© Dave Whenham

8:17am – sun has just risen beyond me.

 

© Dave Whenham

9:21am – container ship Charlotte Orchard coming into the docks at Bootle

© Dave Whenham

10:52am – Perch Rock lighthouse (long exposure)

© Dave Whenham

12:59pm – time for some minimalist long exposures at West Kirby

© Dave Whenham

1:11pm – second minimalist long exposure from West Kirby

© Dave Whenham

2:32pm – Liverpool skyline from New Brighton beach

© Dave Whenham

3:14pm – New Brighton Lighthouse aka Perch Rock Lighthouse (long exposure)

© Dave Whenham

4:52pm – Catch!

© Dave Whenham

5:33pm – sunset was 5:51pm but we did not get the sunset we hoped for. We hung around until 6:15 just in case though!

We didn't get the sunset we hoped for but after ten hours on location it didn't seem right not to wait another half hour just in case!

6:21pm – just about to set off home but couldn’t resist a quick snap looking towards the docks and ferry ports at Bootle.

All images Fuji X-T3 unless stated.