Sunday 21 December 2008

Some Days you just have to give up

Well the plan for this morning was quite simple, head down to my nearest bit of coast (Leigh-on-Sea) and take a few photos as the sun comes up. Sometimes the best laid plans, just don't work out.

It all started well, as the night before I dropped my camera into the camera bag I hadn't bothered to unpack from my last coast trip. As I had only taken the camera out of the bag - if I put it back in I should have everything I need. Wellies & tripod were left by the door ready for an early what could possibly go wrong.

Well, first of all the central heating went completely mad, so instead of a good nights sleep I ended up getting about an hours hot & fitful sleep. Undeterred I was up at six and chucked all my gear in the car and headed for the coast.

On arrival at Leigh, I headed down to Two Tree Island and got the gear out of the car. As I started to set up I realised I didn't have a tripod quick release plate anywhere in the bag. I turned the bag upside down but it was nowhere to be seen. I now have no way of mounting the camera on the tripod. After a bit of tinkering I worked out a way to use my super stretch camera strap to lash the camera to the tripod.

So undeterred I set my camera up & I start to wait for the sun to come up. Immediately the sky became completely obscured by thick cloud. I Decided I could still work with the strong wind which would cause some nice motion in the sky.

Leigh-on-Sea (on a better day)
(Click to view large)

No sooner had I set up my shot than the carpark behind me filled with cars. As hundreds of fishermen descend on the place for a fishing competition. My carefully composed scene of peace and tranquillity was suddenly filled with fisherman moving boats about and wading through the mud. Time to try another spot I think!

I headed back to try the view from the bridge over Leigh creek. I had to prepare my shot (with the camera still precariously balanced on the tripod), whilst avoiding being run over by the stream of fisherman's cars crossing the bridge. I position the camera carefully, when there was a sudden "ping" and the Lee filter holder and filters dropped off the front of my camera into the creek below. Luckily the tide was on its way out so the filters embedded themselves deep in the mud. I struggled down the bank and waded into the mud to retrieve the filters.

I finally decided to give up and head home in a huff - unfortunately a huff wasn't available so I used the car instead*. Arriving home I searched the house top to bottom and couldn't find the missing Tripod QR plate. After searching for 3 hours, I finally found it...attached to a telephoto lens - in my camera bag.

What a day!

*Sightings of this joke date back to 1933

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