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Barafundle Bay

I nearly made it through the whole of 2017 with one post a week, but work and time got away from me at the end of year, and I haven't posted an entry for the past 4 weeks.

I will manage it this year though, or rather I will manage it for the rest of the year as we're already in the second week!

So, apart from work, what have I been doing? I've been back to Pembrokeshire, back to a coast line that I love, and back to the sea. I know that there is more to Pembrokeshire than coastline, but after spending the rest of the year in a land locked, mountainous country, the coast and the ocean are a major draw. This year we decided to go a little further a field and look at something new. We spent a lot of time along the coast a little further south that we'd been before, in the area of Barafundle Bay and Broadhaven South. Further north in Preseli Hills, as well as old favourites, Druidstone, Whitesands, and of course our starting point for all trips, Little Haven.

For this post I'm going to stay with Barafundle Bay. We spent a lot of time there, in a lot of different conditions. Strong winds, torrential rain, bright cloudless skies, grey skies, and everything in between.

The first time that we tried to get there, didn't go too well, we had to turn back. It's not that it's a long difficult hike, or even that far from a car park. The problem was the weather, the strong wind and the rain combined to create a beast that was blowing rain sideways, upwards and in many other different directions that seemed purposely designed to be able to pass through any piece of waterproof covering that we were wearing. After ten minutes of walking in the beast, I felt the I had more water inside my wellies than on the outside; we were soaked to the bone and decided to turn back.

The second time went rather better, and this beach is more than worth getting up early and arriving before dawn. The sound of the waves, and the light changing with the dawn were exceptional. Obviously there are a lot of factors the can effect this, but the weather can change quickly, there could be a surprise opening in the clouds, and this beach isn't that dependent on the tide times, as there are dunes at the back. In short, I would head to this beach at any time. Even with a torrential rain beast!

The morning started out quite grey, but dry. Relatively dry, at least in comparison to the previous few days. It turned out to be a beautiful sunrise. This first image was one of many, very, very many. With a subject that is constantly in movement and a 1 second shutter speed, it's hard to get exactly what you foresee the image to be. The way around this is to keep taking pictures; it's not a case of 'spray and pray', I'm not taking image after image, in the hope that one will work or one will be in focus. I have a composition, I have the concept of an image, but I have a medium that's flowing. What I want to capture is a blend of movements that don't have a pattern, and the only way to do this is to take a lot of images and choose the best. This one was it.

This next one made it in because it's calm. It's calm and has a strange balance, even with the heavily weighted silhouette on the right it works. I also like the holes through the rock face that show just a hint of the sky in the background, and if you look close enough you can see a seagull sitting on one of the rocks.

The sun is now a touch higher in the sky, and Pembrokeshire is showing it's tropical side. I still find it fascinating how fast the colours in a landscape can change. The water and the sky show a complete change from the previous two images.

I love the movement of the waves, and how slowing down the shutter speed just a touch can create such wonderful effect of movement and flow. I varied the shutter speed until I found that 1 second worked best, at least on this day.

And then the clouds returned!

I'm not that keen on this last image. I added it to show the clouds, but there is something about the proportions and movement in the waves that made me add it to the post.

Next time we'll visit the perils of Broadhaven South and the stunning Church Rock.


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