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REFLECTIONS ON JERSEY

IN APPRECIATION OF MARGARET, MY LONG SUFFERING WIFE AND COMPANION!

Margaret and I had holidayed in Jersey in the Channel Islands in 2006 to mark our Silver Wedding anniversary; now 10 years later we repeated the experience. Jersey is such a fantastic place for coastal walks (the main purpose of our visit) and with an area of only 74 sq miles you’re never far from the sea. The bus service, covering all parts of the island, is frequent, clean and very punctual; also the drivers are noteworthy for being exceptionally polite and helpful to tourists and locals alike. The main town of St. Helier, is much more vibrant than I had remembered and has grown as a financial business hub. Finally, the island has a rich heritage for those interested in all types of fortifications from centuries past right through to WW2. Perhaps I’m beginning to sound like a travel guide but I would highly recommend Jersey as a de-stress place for those who need it.

To keep the photo gear as minimal as possible, I opted to carry a Fuji X-T1 camera body, four fast prime lenses, one longer zoom lens and a light-weight tripod but unfortunately I stupidly forgot to pack my Lee “Big Stopper” filter for long exposures; however, after our first day’s coastal walk of half a dozen miles, I wisely decided to strip back on the gear and  carried the camera body and a couple of lenses only, with the 23mm (35mm equivalent) seeing active service the most.

Unlike my earlier Gran Canaria post, where the aim had been to capture light, shadow & texture; in Jersey it was the elements of coast, marina and harbour which more often than not seemed to guide an exploration in line, structure and abstract subjects within my creative photography. I hope you enjoy my efforts and as ever please feel free to leave your comments.

Le Hocq Point | Jersey

Le Hocq Point | Jersey

I thought this was a Martello tower; it’s one of several such round towers seen along the south-east coast of Jersey. They were built to impede an expected French invasion around 1779 and predate the development of true Martello towers from the later Napoleonic Wars. The strong lead in line resulting from the curving wall was an important motivator here as was the mottled sky, emphasised in post processing.
1/160 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 14mm (21mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens

 

marina wall | St. Helier | Jersey

marina wall | St. Helier | Jersey

I spotted this amazing embankment at the marina as soon as we arrived at the waterfront and knew immediately that I wanted to capture the repeating octagonal shapes as a strong diagonal running from bottom left to the top right.
1/110 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 55-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) f/3.5-4.8 lens @ 61mm

 

marina wall | St. Helier | Jersey

marina wall | St. Helier | Jersey

A different composition featuring the same embankment, this time shot from above and setting the rough-textured structures against the smooth water beyond.
1/125 sec @ f/14  ISO 3200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 14mm (21mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens

 

reflections | English Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

reflections | English Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

One of my favourite abstract compositions. I sometimes worry that perhaps too many of my images end up in monochrome; although I had considered a mono conversion for this one, colour won the day without any question.
1/340 sec @ f/11  ISO 1600  Fujifilm X-T1 with 55-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) f/3.5-4.8 lens @ 58mm

 

boat moorings | English Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

boat moorings | English Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

For some reason, this image reminds me of a scene out of “Das Boot“, one of my all-time favourite films. I gave the boat a slightly cool tone as I think it works really well.
1/250 sec @ f/16  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 55-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) f/3.5-4.8 lens @ 74mm

 

Corbiere Point | St. Brelade | Jersey

Corbiere Point | St. Brelade | Jersey

A bit of artistic licence here as it was really a sunny day but I prefer a bit more drama in my creative work. After all the lighthouse was built here for good reason, as shown by the great number of ships which have come to grief on Jersey’s rocky shores over the centuries. At high tide the causeway is completely submerged by the sea.
I’m pretty chuffed with the post-processing in this finished scene and it conveys what I had in mind when I pressed the shutter.
1/220 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

La Rocco Tower | St. Quen

La Rocco Tower | St. Quen’s Bay | Jersey

The coast running to the north of Corbiere Lighthouse is St Quen’s Bay; for some reason it’s referred to locally as “Five Mile Beach” which it isn’t.
Here are three images from that wonderful area, whatever the length of the beach.
1/350 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

St. Quen

St. Quen’s Bay | Jersey

1/1600 sec @ f/5.6  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

St. Quen

St. Quen’s Bay | Jersey

1/320 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

WW2 fortifications | St. Quen

WW2 fortifications | St. Quen’s Bay | Jersey

Jersey was occupied by Nazi forces from 1940 to 1945; in that time it became one of the most heavily fortified parts of Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall”. These images illustrate some of the massive gun casements and machine gun bunker defence works seen on St. Quen’s Bay. I reckon one’s chances of surviving an assault made on this beautiful but exposed west coast beach would have been slim to none. Mercifully, these formidable defences were never put to the test as the D–Day landings in Normandy on 6th June 1944 effectively by-passed the Channel Islands until the end of the war in Europe.
1/210 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

WW2 fortifications | St. Quen

WW2 fortifications | St. Quen’s Bay | Jersey

1/160 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

WW2 fortifications | St. Quen

WW2 fortifications | St. Quen’s Bay | Jersey

1/220 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

WW2 fortifications | St. Quen

WW2 fortifications | St. Quen’s Bay | Jersey

1/240 sec @ f/11  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

low tide | St. Aubin

low tide | St. Aubin’s Bay | Jersey

When the tide goes out on St. Aubin’s Bay it leaves behind this amazing carpet of green moss, irregularly dissected by long fingers of sand.
1/55 sec @ f/16  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

dog on a mission | St. Aubin

dog on a mission | St. Aubin’s Bay | Jersey

Is this breed a Jack Daniels or a Jack Russell, I can never quite remember?
1/100 sec @ f/16  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

morning light on Elizabeth Castle | St. Aubin

morning light on Elizabeth Castle | St. Aubin’s Bay | Jersey

I’m sorry to say it but I’m a lazy sod; I enjoy my bed far too much but I did manage at least one early morning jaunt and rewarded with sunshine hitting Elizabeth Castle. And if I had packed my Lee “Big Stopper” filter I could have smoothed out the water and added something extra to the sky but photography is full of “ifs”.
1/75 sec @ f/16  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

This following five photographs of harbour reflections have been described as having a painted quality; I’m honoured by that description as they are the closest I’ll ever come to being an artist!
1/140 sec @ f/11  ISO 800  Fujifilm X-T1 with 55-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) f/3.5-4.8 lens @ 128mm

 

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

1/220 sec @ f/11  ISO 800  Fujifilm X-T1 with 55-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) f/3.5-4.8 lens @ 200mm

 

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

1/350 sec @ f/10  ISO 800  Fujifilm X-T1 with 55-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) f/3.5-4.8 lens @ 200mm

 

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

I totally love this abstract capture and it’s one of my top favourites in this post.
1/280 sec @ f/11  ISO 800  Fujifilm X-T1 with 55-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) f/3.5-4.8 lens @ 90mm

 

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

reflections | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

1/480 sec @ f/8  ISO 400  Fujifilm X-T1 with 55-200mm (83-300mm equivalent) f/3.5-4.8 lens @ 200mm

 

statue to seafarers | St. Helier | Jersey

sculpture | St. Helier | Jersey

A magnificent sculpture, dedicated to seafarers. I have photographed the work from a very low angle to give it even more of a heroic feel and blue-toned as a nod to the conditions in which seafarers have always laboured. I would call the sculpture
TRUE GRIT.
1/550 sec @ f/2  ISO 200  Fujifilm X-T1 with 56mm (84mm equivalent) f/1.2 lens

 

clouds | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

clouds | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

My friend, Paul Gallagher, goes on about creating order out of chaos or some deep and meaningful phrase. The multitude of boats and their masts are certainly chaotic, but my focus was on the amazing cloud structure floating just above the harbour. In colour this image looks quite dreadful but the monochrome conversion has resolved the problem of chaos and in doing so has produced, I feel, a relatively tranquil scene.
1/1600 sec @ f/8  ISO 800  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

steps | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

steps | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

I love photographing steps possibly because they may have some higher, symbolic meaning; generally steps lead you somewhere or in this case nowhere.
1/120 sec @ f/11  ISO 800  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

submerged railing | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

submerged railing | Albert Harbour | St. Helier | Jersey

I love this one and it appeared popular with many of my Facebook friends likewise. What makes it for me is the curve of the railing held within the square composition. Also, the steps descending into the murky water; what was once visible in turn becomes obscured.
1/55 sec @ f/8  ISO 800  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

statue | Liberation Square | St. Helier | Jersey

Liberation Square | St. Helier | Jersey

A magnificent piece of art sculpture created by Philip Jackson F.R.S.S. and unveiled on 9th May 1995. The dedication reads:
At this place on 9th May, 1945, advance parties from the Royal Navy and the British Army liberated Jersey from nearly five years of occupation by German forces. They and the return of the British flag were greeted by thousands of Islanders with intense relief, joy and gratitude. On the 50th Anniversary of that day, the States and people of Jersey dedicate this new Liberation square to commemorate that historic event and all those whose efforts and sacrifices made it possible.
1/680 sec @ f/5.6  ISO 800  Fujifilm X-T1 with 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.4 lens

 

  • Tom - Some cracking images – I particularly like the reflections of the masts in the water. My favourite is the Submerged Railing, a nice sweeping line accentuated by the square format. Would work really well as a print, I think. Cheers. Tom06/09/2016 – 12:37 pmReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you very much for your comments Tom, appreciated as always!
      Yeah, the submerged railing shot is either 1st or 2nd place in my list of favourites from this post and glad you like it. I’m afraid I haven’t been out in pursuit of landscapes for what seems many months due to vary commitments; however, Margaret and I are off to East Lothian next week and I hope to dedicate some photography time to coastal work then. I’m also booked into a Skye workshop with Paul G. for December and looking forward to that. Hope to see you at Penrith in November. Best wishes to you and your family, Sandy.06/09/2016 – 11:36 pmReplyCancel

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