The biggest step to taking great photos is…

I used to look at other people’s photos and I’d think to myself ‘how do they manage to get those types of shots?’, or ‘how are they always that lucky?’. If you’ve ever found yourself doing that, I found the answer…

As Winter draws in and the cold weather sets in, it is easy to look out of your window and think you won’t bother today. I think that to myself. The thing is; whenever I ignore those thoughts and go out anyway, I often get shots I am really, really happy with.

The most recent storm, storm Alex is a great example. I’m looking out of the window at home and seeing strong winds, heavy rain, a horrible day. I started thinking about watching a movie but I couldn’t ignore that little nagging feeling that I should go out. So I did.

I have photographed the crashing storm waves at Meadfoot a number of times. I do like all my previous photos but this was a bit special because of how high this wave went. Also, because the sky cleared for a split second, it allowed a ray of light to kiss the top of the wave as it peaked.

A large crashing wave at Meadfoot beach in Torquay, Devon.

This is now my favourite all time photo of the crashing waves and it was taken when I almost stayed inside.

As I’m stood there taking these photos I glanced left and noticed something I had never in my life seen before; a water spout…

A waterspout touching water in Torquay, Devon.

If you look at the left of the horizon you’ll notice this waterspout has touched water and is sucking up water.

If I had stayed at home I would have never of seen this once in a lifetime experience.

Likewise, a few weeks ago, if I hadn’t have gone out I wouldn’t have seen a cormorant’s lunch fighting back and strangling the cormorant as it was trying to fly off with its catch…

An eel strangling a cormorant as it tries to fly off.

It’s been commented that I’m really lucky to get once in a lifetime shots like this when I’ve only just started taking up wildlife photography. The thing is, I didn’t want to go out that day but once again, I am SO glad I did.

The other week I woke up at 3am, after only have 2 hours sleep. Every bone in my body said to stay home but I went out anyway. Because I was up so early, I had time to get to Dawlish Warren before sunrise. The sunrise light kissing this scene was one of the nicest to date.

Beautiful golden light from the morning sun at Dawlish Warren in Devon.

Time and time again, I’m getting shots I really like, from times when I didn’t want to go out.

It’s the winter months that can offer you the chances to capture shots you won’t normally see. We rarely get good waves in Torbay. Thanks to Storm Alex I manged to practise photographing Kite-surfers, something I’ve never shot before.

What made this even better was, unbeknown to me, this is Dave Ibby, a former UK kite-surfing champion…

Dave Ibby kite surfing in Paignton, Devon.
Dave Ibby, former UK Kite surfing champion at Paignton, Devon.
Dave Ibby, former UK Kite surfing champion at Paignton, Devon.
Dave Ibby, former UK Kite surfing champion at Paignton, Devon.

Again, all taken when an hour before I was sat at home thinking what movie to watch.

You can only get great photos by being out there and taking them. I know it sounds so cliche but trust me, go out, take the photos, get the practise and you’ll be surprised how many times you’ll come back with photos you’re so glad you took because you went out anyway.

If you’re sat at home now, wondering if you can be bothered to go out with your camera… GO!

“The more I practise, the luckier I get”.

Simon Day

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