I think it is now safe to announce that one of my images has been Highly Commended in the Coastal and Marine section of the 2015 BWPA competition. It will thus be appearing in the exhibition and book.
One might query whether this constitutes wildlife at all; the trees have been dead for about 5,000 years! But it is still a fantastically wild place in the right conditions, even if the sand has long ago returned and the tree stumps been hidden again.
For more information on the submerged forest and my experiences taking the photograph, please click here.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the submerged forest which had been exposed by January storms between Borth and Ynyslas – see this post. Since then I’ve been back several times in different conditions, with mixed results. I’ve been plagued by camera shake problems using a ten-stop ND filter. On one visit, during the middle of the day, I came away with virtually no useable images at all, even with exposures of just a few seconds. I decided to forget about the filter and rely on natural light (or the lack of it) to create the conditions I was looking for.
My intention had anyway been to capture waves moving through the tree stumps at sunset. Until the sun dropped below the horizon light levels were still too high, but after sunset conditions became almost perfect. On a recent visit I eventually found a photogenic-looking arrangement of stumps, set the camera on the tripod and waited. For a period of just a few minutes the incoming tide washed in and out through the stumps before covering them completely. Sunset colours in the western sky formed the backdrop. Having found “the moment” it was actually quite easy to make the images. I chatted to a fellow photographer, breaking off to press the shutter button every now and again as waves came in and receded! I returned home with dozens of almost identical images to wade through, however, and so far I’ve only processed a few of them. It hadn’t been a particularly intense sunset so I’ve processed them quite hard to give them a little more impact. I’m quite pleased with the results.
The beach seems to be returning to normal slowly but steadily. The upper part of the very distinctive tree stump pictured in my first post is still visible but sand is building up around it. There’s no sign of the rather remarkable peat cutting shown in the second picture, which must have been filled in with sand. Perhaps within a few months there will be no sign at all of what the winter storms of 2014 left behind.