So, I was quite happily watching Italy vs Republic of Ireland on the TV when by chance i happened to glance out of the window & saw the makings of a fantastic sky.   Given I'd not been out with the camera all week due to inclement weather conditions I thought I'd pop out & see what developed.

It was now just gone 9.00pm & sunset was scheduled for 9.20pm this didn't give me much time to scout a location & prep for the mystical 'Golden Hour' shot.  So i decided to hop in the car (no time for walking!)  & drive the 2 minutes to my favourite place, being Shingle Point on Mersea Island.

As soon as I'd parked up I knew I'd made the right decision with the sky being made up of a rainbow of colours - purple & lilacs to the East and oranges & yellows to the west.  The clouds were also incredibly interesting which added even more drama to the sky.

Looking East

Once I walked the short way to Shingle Point I was greeted by a flat calm sea & wonderful reflections.  If I were to produce a wish list of conditions I could not have asked for more (well maybe a double full colour rainbow).

Camera set up of tripod & a couple of test shots taken, the sun hadn't quite set & as such the view looking west was still too bright & the highlights were blown on the horizon (wish list - Reverse Grad filter).

In this respect, I turned the tripod round & took a test shot of the Essex Oyster Smack 'Kate' & 3 further yachts in the distance.  The reflections were superb, however so was the sea & sky.  Whilst I'm not a massive fan of horizons being placed in the middle of the image, it was needed on this occasion to get both the mast & reflected mast into shot.   Given my feet were already getting wet due to sinking into the soft shingle I had to crop a small amount of the shingle from the bottom left hand corned as this was distracting to the final image. 

Looking West

By now, the sun had set enough for me to turn round again & set up to take a view of the setting sun.  These pictures were taken no less than 5 minutes apart & you can see the massive difference in colours between the east & west.

I'd taken several test shots to try & get the right composition & settled on this one.  The problem with the view to the west is that there is so much to see that way, with the multitude of small boats moored in the channel.  It is a hard decision to what to keep & what to leave.  On this occasion I knew exactly that the fishing boat & reflection had to be the main focus.

So, I'm really sorry I didn't manage to see the Republic of Ireland beat Italy, but I'm so glad I made the effort & think i certainly reaped the rewards! 

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