Talk #15: Total Immersion by Beata Moore

Photography for many amateurs and professionals quickly becomes a passion. A camera is a very powerful tool that enables us to capture a moment in time and a place, but also allows us to express more, our creativity and vision. Cameras have always been around me since an early age, and as I spent all my summer holidays by the sea, no wonder that the sea holds the biggest fascination for me.

In my teens, I saw the image by Jean Guichard ‘Lighthouse in a Storm at La Jument’. In the photograph, a wave is about to engulf the lighthouse when its keeper, Théodore Malgorne opens the door thinking that Guichard's helicopter is the rescue one. I promised myself that one day I would be taking images of the sea at its worst. Nature churning seas into chaos, giant waves swelling up and engulfing lighthouses and rocks bewitches me and creates the perfect scenery for my photographs.

When wholeheartedly immersed in photography, we often become less aware of potential dangers. Engrossed in capturing images of the sea, it is so easy to lose track of time and tides. The most important lesson I learned as a child was to never turn your back on the ocean. The knowledge of the tides and swells is also essential, as well as not to come too near to where the waves are landing. Some shores are especially dangerous, like those with powerful rip tides, or sneaker waves, like the famous Reynisfjara beach. All however are challenging in stormy and windy conditions.

When capturing seascapes, just remember that however exciting artistic opportunities they offer, it is essential to prioritise personal safety. The image below was taken with a Canon RF 100-400mm zoom lens, which allowed me to keep a safe distance from the angry sea. I was also sheltered from the wind which might have made me unsteady on the volcanic rocks of Lanzarote. No picture is worth my life, or as a matter of fact, anyone else’s.  

Beata Moore 
Discover. Experience. Create 

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