How I Took That Shot – Niall Sharkey

This shot by Niall Sharkey was placed joint first in Grade B in our recent 'Seascape' printed competition. This is how the shot came about:

I took the photo down beside Knockadoon signal tower near Youghal, Co. Cork. I positioned myself close to the cliff edge to take the shot. It was taken at sunrise and the colour in the sky was amazing!

There was lovely cloud cover to bring texture and interest to the sky but what caught my eye was the deep red and pink hues from the rising sun as it lit up the undersurface of those clouds. Also, there was a significant warm/cool contrast between the seaward side and the land which gave it an almost 2-tone look.

Admittedly, I was aware of a seascape competition coming up so I needed some land/sea contrast and framed the image to catch both. My widest lens was 24mm and retrospectively I was sorry I didn’t stitch two images together in photoshop as the highlight of the scene was the vivid sky colour which was out of shot! Next time!!

I took the image on a tripod. The camera was a Nikon D810 with a 24-120mm lens. A slower shutter speed was used to soften the sea a little and capture the detail better at the base ISO of 64.

- Niall Sharkey