This week I was free for the first time in over a month to get out for a whole day. I fancied finding some wrecks to photograph. I followed my usual process of searching ‘wreck hampshire’ into flickr, and I came across some pictures of a nice wreck, from a place called forton lake. I then searched Forton lake, and came across an array of great pictures of the wrecks there. Now I had a place name, I just searched it into google maps, and found out it was in Gosport, near Portsmouth. We got there at midday, which was high tide, which I would reccomend trying to avoid, as the wrecks are a bit inaccesible and you can’t walk around the lake easily. I’d say get there three hours after high tide, and try to park at the top of Parham road, other wise park off Mill lane. You can see the main wrecks just to the right of the road, which you can walk to if the tides down a bit.
When I arrived it was high tide, and all the wrecks were inaccessible, unless you’re wearing wellies. In-between intermittent rain showers I attempted to get a powerful image of this wreck at the end of Parham road. The water was too still, and the seaweed added unwanted complexity to the image. Also, if there had been some strong side lighting from a low sun, some dramatic shadows would have been cast across the water. But this was just a trial run, now I have scoped out the location, I can return at the right state of tide, weather, light, knowing where to park and what angles are possible etc… I would always recommend doing a recce of an area, and if you get lucky the first time, don’t tick off the location; there is always a different way to see it.
These first pictures were edited in ps to get rid of the ugly buildings in the background, just to avoid you getting a surprise when you get there!
The Vadne wreck below is the most popular wreck there, it’s a beautiful decrepit boat, and I wanted a powerful front shot with clouds sweeping over it, but the clouds aren’t very visible. I shot the horizon wonky, so as to leave the ship going straight up the picture. Half an hour earlier and the distracting pebbles would be gone, so that’s another thing I learnt for next time.
I figured I’d make a bit of a photo story, so here’s some experimentations with different angles, colourations and treatments etc.
I wanted to zone in on elements of the ship, to capture the essence of a wreck – showing the components individually to hyperbolize them. I looked around the ship, noticing the details, the scabrous surface, the peeling paint, rust, jagged holes, graffiti, and weed dangling off the lower hull. To any photographer, the holes in the boats were crying out for a classic frame within a frame composition, so I did some focus stacking later to get the foreground partially in focus – I found if it’s completely in focus it looks too busy and detracts from the inner scene.
To ensure that the close-up of the weed was established in it’s surroundings, I got back slightly more than normal, and angled left, to include the water, rocks and an object that the viewer should be able to ponder over and speculate as to what it is, adding a small background element.
Het lied van de week:
Thanks to Joel for making me cry with laughter whilst writing this…