As a photographer, I am always looking at the work of other photographers to inspire me. One such person is Cape Town based artist, Lee Slabber. His images cross the boundary between photography and art and become simply inspiring. Lee is a gentle man who loves nature, loves to extract the patterns presented by our cold Cape waters, and he is a wonderful teacher.
As a result of my admiration for the man it was with great delight that I welcomed him to Yzerfontein on the 10th of September 2014 to come and guide my own work off Schaap Eiland. His message to me was clear: look for foreground, midground and background interest. Be clear about the patterns created by the rushing waves when you slow down your shutter speed and watch the art emerge.
The images that I took at sunrise on that day under Lee’s guidance are what I am presenting to you here. In the first image the sun is just about to emerge over the horison, the cloud cover matches some of the patterns in the water and a few of the Pearl Bay houses lurk in the background. As a result of the early morning there is little light and the slow shutter speed blurs the water. The trick is to shoot at the lowest possible ISO your camera offers and use a f-stop of at least 16. If available to you, add a graduated filter to darken the sky and allow the camera to pick up more detail from the rocky foreground.
In the second photograph the camera is turned away from the rising sun and pointing out towards Dassen Island. Here Lee suggested that the photograph be turned to a black and white image to add drama to the splashing waves. Lee’s further tip was to crop a little off the top and bottom of the photograph to give it a more panoramic feel and allow the viewer to be drawn more directly into the oncoming waves.
The best compliment fo the the day, however, went to Yzerfontien itself when Lee said he would be sure to be back. Our coastline is a gift to any serious seascape photographer.