Boats at dawn

I wanted another try at the pre-dawn long exposure shots today. I was out at 5am and on site shortly afterwards. No trouble parking at that hour.

I started by taking a shot of the pier because a) the lights looked good and b) I was surprised to see people swimming. Six elderly(ish) ladies to be precise. There is a much cleaner stretch just a few 100m away at Sha Ha beach. The pier is where the boats dock and I would never dream of going in there. They must have a very strong immune system.Sai Kung Pier

Sai Kung Pier

Then the first twinkle of light took me along the wall to wait for some decent shots of the boats.

In no particular order, here they are:Ghost Boats

Ghost Boats

The Brightening

Rich light


Dream Boat

Dream Boat

And finally, in full glow of sunrise, a detail shot of the dredger.Boat detail


I realise as I read photography books, see images freshly posted online and review my own catalogue that there is very, very little that is truly different. Probably subconsciously I absorb many of the ideas exhausted by others. I was fascinated recently by a series of photos in which the photographer had done an assignment based purely around a park bench. How many ways can you interpret a bench. Well the answer was quite surprising. Compositions varied enormously but so did light. It seems obvious but we are perhaps conditioned to wait for the best of the light. We either wait for it or chase it. Occasionally we come across it fortuitously. That was why I thought about photographing boats. I live no more than a 20 minute walk from the sea front. I can see the boats from where I write this blog. They are, so to speak, on my doorstep. No excuses. So how would I see boats? What light could I use? Wide or detail shots? I have no special interest in boats. I do not sail. A rare trip out on a junk is as far as it goes. Perhaps the short hop to Yim Tin Tsai. A good test of my ability to look at boats from all angles at all times of day.

I am still thinking through what I can do that is different. The knots were my first attempt. Currently I am treading water without inspiration. It is a theme at which I shall have to work for some time. Here are 2 more images from my last walk along the sea wall, starting with that sinking feeling. Was it Oxford or Cambridge this time?





Do these float your boat?