Korsør : bridge, wind, frustration, clouds, seal, hope, more wind, sun
This post was written on the way back home, after couple of hours in Korsør, Denmark, the place where the Great Belt bridge starts its journey to Fyn Island. We took an early train in a windy Sunday morning, hoping to get some dramatic seascapes featuring the bridge or its surroundings.
The forecast was looking good: clouds, no rain, wind around 30 km/h, some sun only in the afternoon. Around 4 km of walking between the train station and the wild beach adjacent to the bridge. We arrived there and a very nice scene revealed in front of our eyes: some nets, probably placed by fishermen on some wooden poles and a foggy horizon, covering the island of Fyn. Birds were seating on the wind poles, not bothered by the wind. Some heavy and black clouds on the sky were marching fast in front of us. The water was wild and foamy, hitting with strength the bridge pillars. The wind seems strong but not too strong to be a problem. Ideal condition for long exposure photography.
Quick unpacking and the camera is set on the tripod, with the right filters on, for a 4 minutes exposure. Suddenly, the wind started to blow stronger, and the sturdy Manfrotto tripod became shaky in front of the combination of wind and sand. Shit! I have to push all my weight on the tripod to keep it still.
But after 8 minutes (the exposure itself and the in camera noise reduction), the first shot was a big disappointment: everything is blurry due to some camera shake. The next exposures ended up with the same result, although both Carmen and I where putting all our weight into fixing the tripod on the ground. The wind is more and more disturbing, our faces are hit with each gust. We look like two Eskimo, frozen and with the eyes half closed to avoid getting sand. Two sad Eskimos as the black clouds are gone. Frustration. Having a great scene, perfect clouds but not being able to take advantage of it due to some external reasons, uncontrollable and unpredictable.
We moved couple of meters away and tried to shoot the bridge from a small hill. Not a single chance of keeping the tripod still for even 10 seconds with the wind gusting to probably 60-70 km/h. Carmen was not even able to stand still for a whole minute. More frustration.
We decided to leave and I was hitting the small pebbles on the road with anger. Couple of meters away, a nice minimalist scene with a field and a small bunch of trees partly covered by a hill. It will probably look amazing in the winter but lets shoot it now anyway. At least we will return home with something on the SD card. The wind seems to be a bit less wild, maybe because we are away from the sea. Hmm…lets try again the bridge and the fisherman nets. Maybe with shorter exposures, around a minute and with a lower tripod for more control.
On the way back to the location, we noticed what seemed to be the head of a seal. Too bad she decided not to show up on the beach as Carmen was willing to give her a sandwich. A sandwich in exchange of letting us to photograph and pet her. The beautiful creature disappeared quickly in the sea, letting me think how perfectly is she adapted to the challenging weather condition, while us were struggling that badly.
A guy was fishing couple of meters away, admiring the sun rays breaking through the clouds. The nature is so beautiful. It just worth to admire it from time to time. The frustration is gone and a bit of hope replaced it. And we managed to get some shorter exposures, around a minute, while the clouds were starting to spread, revealing in the end a blue sky and a shiny sun. Haven’t thought we will gonna need sunglasses that day, but my eyes are again half close, now due to strong light. One more attempt to shoot the bridge and its body getting lost into the mist. The wind is still too strong up there on the hill. But that’s fine, we can do it some other time. No more seals, just some people admiring the sea under the winter sun. And another 4 km of walking to the train station, with the promise that we will return in a better day, with less wind and more clouds. And maybe the seals will be there for us.
Ps: the first image appears as one of the 5 covers for Topaz Star Effects on their website as we used this plug-in to enhance the light rays.