I’ve never been a fan of shooting on sunny days. So whenever the weather gets really bad, for some reason I think of the beach.

Last week, during some of the worst winds we’ve had in years I decided a beach trip was in order.

Talacre was the destination, I’d never been there before and everyone loves a lighthouse. With heavy skies, choppy seas and windswept dunes, I really wanted to play with some long exposures. Stacking about 9 stops of ND filter infront of the lens allowed me to get 15 second exposures in the middle of the day. It also did some strange things with the images. As one of the filters is a graduated filter, and from a different brand to the other filters, the Neutral Density is not so neutral, pushing the colour balance towards the magenta, but not across the whole image. This makes correcting the colour balance in post somewhat difficult, but that only matters if you are looking for a ‘correctly’ exposed image. As I’m the kind of person that looks at rain clouds and thinks ‘beach’, I’m also the kind of person that looks at strange colour and thinks ‘interesting’ and ‘I wonder what it will look like if I let the rain hit the lens?’

In almost all of these images, I’ve left some, if not all, of the rain that hit the lens during the exposure in the finished frame. Some of the more distracting patches have been cloned out in post production, but as I spent time looking at the drops, I started to really like the way they behaved in the image, especially as they too had been put through an off-kilter colour shift by the filters. I’ve always been a fan of happy-accidents, and over the years I’ve always looked for ways to let these happen. Making a conscious choice on occasion to steer away from the pursuit of perfection, to try and find something a little more organic in this digital world.