25 February 2014

Clueless Comes Good - The Story of a Stroll in the Storms.

In my last post I promised to expand further on one of the tips my Turkish professional film maker language student gave me - using the HDR option to take better photos on our phones.    

I shall keep it quick and in simple language for clueless folk like me, because I want to be getting on with showing you pictures of the sea in the recent windy weather.  Those who know what they're doing can pass right on by this bit.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.  There are plenty of websites that go into the finer details, but the upshot is that your camera takes three different photographs of the same thing and superimposes them all so that you get the best bit of each to make the best possible one.  Here are a couple of examples:

Normal setting.

HDR setting.

Normal setting.


HDR setting.


It's to do with the different exposures - where the light is brought in better in different areas and it's brilliant for these outdoor ones where I'd previously found it frustrating that those of the sea appeared rather more gloomy than had actually seemed the case at the time.  My kindly teacher has gone on to explain about shutter speeds and how he uses three sources of light - including a flash during daylight sometimes to avoid a shadow like the one he took in this one, for example - 


Without flash.

With flash, using the sea and sky as the other two sources of light.

- but, to be honest, I'm happy with just pointing and shooting with the tips he's already given me and in one of these photographs below - where the details of the spray (which my sons refer to as 'fireworks') were lost against the light of the sky it has been better to keep the original picture rather than the HDR one for contrast.  The phone gives both versions of photographs magically (see 'Settings' otherwise, but you know better than to ask me).  

There endeth our lesson.  However, here's another tip that I discovered for myself after taking these and you won't get this on any posh photography sites (!) - when your phone gets stuck on its 'headphones' setting, even though you haven't used it and you can't get it to switch back to work normally, this will be because it has come into contact with water and you'll need to take a hairdryer to it.  If you're very lucky, once you've indulged in plenty of self-pitying panicking and learned your lesson sufficiently, it might sort itself out.  *Blushes*   

So without further ado, here is the story of a stroll I took when the tide was OUT but coming in.  In almost twenty years of living in and close to Brighton I have never seen the sea anywhere near as high.  Half an hour later, walking back along the cliff top, I could see it would have been downright dangerous to be down there still. Those high waves are carrying pebbles and those concourses are usually clear for walkers, cyclists, roller bladers and maniacal kids on scooters, not least and namely mine.  

Although it was awesome, I felt scared for those suffering in the floods.  The power of the water was incredible.

The tide is out, but coming in. 



I'm not the only one fascinated.

The morning after the night before.    

Walking further along. 

Can you see those pebbles?

The non-HDR.

'Fireworks.'



I got soaked!



My favourite.



Past the worst.

There's been no scooting since, but at least we're safe, warm and dry.



Continuing my walk.


Still very deep.

Heading up to the cliff top.

All the Small Things - MummyNeverSleeps

67 comments:

  1. Those pictures are amazing! I can see why folk are fascinated but it does make me mad when I see shots of people out on piers in terrible storms. I was swept under by a huge wave once and was at the point of breathing in when my head came up and I managed to drag myself out. I've had a huge respect for the sea since then. I'm a strong swimmer, but it makes no difference in waves like that.
    I need to find the HDR setting on my camera!

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    1. Thank you. I can't imagine how that must have felt Helen - it's a wonder you're not phobic! I got pulled by a current in the shallows in Spain once and that was frightening enough, without even having my head under. I'm also a strong swimmer so being out of control was a shock. Respect is the only safe answer :)

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  2. Your pictures are great. I've often been told that the best piece of photography equipment is the human eye, and if you can properly "see" a picture then you can capture it with any sort of camera.

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    1. Thank you - and that's interesting. My student says I have a good eye and he has piqued my interest in improving photographs, but it's just not a priority for me right now :)

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  3. Your pictures tell such a story Anya - there's an element of me that wishes I was down with you snapping away too! I think we need to get you onto a bridge camera next x

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    1. I wish you were there too Jenny - and that spot on the second one from the bottom always reminds me of you from when we were there in the summer together. Have no idea what a bridge camera is xx

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  4. The images of the sea are fabulous. They really show the danger of water.

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    1. Thank you - and it's because it's the sea that's fabulous and I'm trying to capture it - dangers and all :) x

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  5. I'm really enjoying these posts, and snippets coming back to me when I was taking pictures this week. It's really good to have it in such plain English as I do tend to switch off from technical talk. Your pictures are great, and tell such a compelling story.

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    1. Thank you and I'm glad you appreciate the level I'm at and from, plus it's good to know you're using them :)

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  6. These pictures are amazing - I so need to find that setting on my phone as well - I just don't seem to take the time with photos anymore, and I really should be doing. Great "fireworks" too!

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    1. Thank you Helen - it was an amazing morning. The HDR option is on the screen on mine when taking the pics and you just click on it :)

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  7. Oh man looks at those pebbles being thrown up! I would be legging it away in fear - I have a bit of a phobia of big waves. Thanks for sharing the tips and for the mention you lovely lady xxx

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    1. Can you imagine when the tide is in? You're most welcome xx

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  8. Flipping Nora, those are scary! But completely fascinating too. Love your "favourite" one and the tips! I've somehow only just found the HDR setting on my phone, had no idea what it was or what it did - now I do! Really cracking photos Anya, I felt as if I was there. And thanks so much for joining in :) xx

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    1. Thank you. I had no idea what the HDR meant on the screen and studiously ignored it until my student explained! It's a great linky to join in on xx

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  9. Fabulous photos, and thanks for the mini lesson. I had no idea about flash in the daytime affecting shadows. -Susanna

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  10. Amazing shots! I love the sea during a storm, so dramatic. And thank you for explaining HDR - I always wondered what it meant!

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    1. Thank you and I've never seen the sea as dramatic as that, let alone so close up! My pleasure re the HDR - so glad I'm not the only clueless one around tbh! xx

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  11. Awesome photos! I've started using my HDR button since I read your last post (I confess, I didn't know it was there). The photos are much better but it's so annoying it saves both the normal and the HDR one, filling up my memory storage even quicker!

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    1. Thank you - awesome subject! So glad you're enjoying the improvement in your pics. You can switch off the saving both versions in 'Settings' - easy peasily xx

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  12. Fantastic tips - thank you. And your favourite is my favourite too - so moody and striking! X

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    1. Oh thank you too - I think I missed the actual waves trying to capture them - really scary looking at them now!

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  13. Some brilliant shots Anya, I remember seeing some on IG when you posted them. I must use the HDR button too - but first I must find it!

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    1. Thank you - for every good one, there were plenty that completely missed the moment! It's on the screen Mari X

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  15. Great pictures! Lovely to share your stroll with you. I can imagine that you did indeed get very wet! I read this post earlier today (coming back now to comment) and you'll be pleased to know that in the interim I have not only found the HDR button on my phone but used it to good effect! Thank you! x

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  16. Fabulous Anya, I bet you did get soaked. Such a scary but exciting walk I imagine. Mich x

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  17. great tips! how long is your student with you and how much more can you get out of him!

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    1. As a rule I bow to you! 6 months. Quite alot - come visit x

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  18. Eeeeek, by the time I get the email notification of your blog post I am always late to the party.

    These photos are SPECTACULAR but pebbles IN the water - how scary. I am glad you got your photos done while it was safe, and that you were at a safe distance that 30 mins later.

    Fabulous sharing this photo learning journey with you - I am grateful for your new student. I think each brings a gift with them. You've had a great chef in the past and your boys seem to love them all.

    Really enjoyed these photos. Thank you.

    Liska xx

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    1. You are never too late and am so glad you've enjoyed them :) X

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  19. Awesome pics, and will be using some of those tips too!

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  20. I have never heard of a HDR button. I must look for it as you can really see a difference in the examples you've given. Thanks for sharing. Oh and I love, love, love your beach photos. I love the beach and it always reminds me of home x

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  21. Yay! These are fab Anya, I like your favourite and the seagulls over the sea.I use HDR when I'm not using the Hipstamatic app on my iphone.I need to have a play with flash now when I'm out this week.

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    1. Thank you - but there's that other language that goes right over some of our heads! ;)

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  22. great tips Anya! And although i own an phone since about 3 and a half years ago i had no idea about the HDR option! Your pics are amazing and you can't see that you didn't use a proper SLR! keep on snapping i'll say.
    I love the sea whatever the season - i grow up next to it so it's normal i guess.

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    1. Thank you. I've not idea what a SLR is though ;) x

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  23. Wow great tips and your stills are looking incredible!

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    1. Praise indeed from you the pro, darling, thank you X

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  24. Brilliant, HDR can work so well but you have to be careful not to over do it sometimes when using software to help xxx

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    1. Will take your word for that, thanks :) x

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  25. The photos are great, I'm not sure I understand but I'm going to have a play about with my phone, it's not an iphone, does that matter?
    The sea looks so powerful in your shots, as indeed it is in real life.

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    1. Thank you Jay - I don't know - but if you can see an HDR or options on the screen, it should be there because it seems pretty standard to those in the know! And re the sea - considering the tide was out - she was a force not to be reckoned with but avoided!

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  26. I have started using the HDR option after reading your post, but at the moment, I am using almost exclusively my brand new camera instead of my phone... ;)
    Love your photos. xx

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    1. So glad to have helped some of you and not to feel so clueless for that! I don't blame you for using your posh camera - your pics are great :) Glad you love these xx

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  27. oh my gosh that water looks scary. Amazing photos though.xx

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  28. The thing I find about using my HDR is that it seems so slow, and then I've missed something else. These photos of yours are fantastic and I loved seeing them on instagram :)

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    1. You're right - it's a little slower because it's taking three photos but I like the difference it makes. Glad you like them x

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  29. I loved this post Anya.... your photographs are amazing, and that sea is boiling! Some really good tips, especially using the flash to rid of shadows, I'll be remembering that one. Now I need to find the HDR setting on my camera! XXX

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    1. Thank you - glad to be of help. Your camera is far posher than this stuff, so it's bound to be there x

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  30. Great post, thanks for sharing! I can't believe how big the waves are, you can really see the difference in pictures with the settings... I see HDR on my iphone all the time and don't go near it. I think this post is a good enough reason to try it out. Thanks

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    1. It seems my basic talk about most subjects goes down rather better than I first expected so I carry it on! Good luck :)

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  31. I love the angry sea but weren't you scared that the next wave might be the big one and you were putting yourself in danger? Or maybe the reality didn't look as angry as the photos suggest.

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    1. I wasn't as close as the photos seem and I wasn't genuinely scared until the next time I took some which will be up as soon as I can manage it! The sea itself was more scary than I'd ever seen but I was at a safe enough distance. I left as soon as I wasn't. Thank you for caring! XX

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  32. You're right - it's a little slower because it's taking three photos but I like the difference it makes. Glad you like them x

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