Seascapes of Barrika

For quite some time now i’ve been enthralled by the image ‘Chasing the Dragon’ by Scott Wilson.I always liked the idea of having a go myself but was put off by the idea of travelling all the way to spain specifically for a seascape shoot.

Then one day I was sitting at my computer at work thinking about taking a photograpy holiday when a travelzoo email came in with £40 return flights to Bilbao with easyjet. I took it a s sign and decided to go for it.

In the end it took me 12.5 hours to get to Sopelana. A tram to the National Express coach station, a coach to stanstead, a flight to Bilbao Airport, a bus to bilbao, a metro ride to Sopelana and finally half hour walk to Hotel Goizalde.

I had set off at midnight on Friday night and arrived at 12:30 at the Hotel. After sorting out my hotel room and having a beer in the sun i decided to set off for barrika. I walked along the BI-2122 and it took me 30-45 mins to get to Barrika.

I used the first trip as a reconisanse mission. The sky was overcast and the tide was out, so there wasn’t much going on for me photographically. I ended up visiting the location five times in my stay, four times at sunset and once at dawn.

On the dawn trip the sky was nice, but the tide was in, so I didn’t get much I was happy with. For the second and third sunset shoots, the tide was going out as the sun was setting which was ok, but on my final day at Barrika the tide started to go out after sunset which would give me the combination of light and water that I was after.

These are my favourate shots of the trip.

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The rest of the images can be seen on flickr.

The most valuable lesson I learned on the trip was ‘keep checking your filters for sea spray’. I’m pretty disapointed that one of my best images is ruined by water droplets on the filter. A number of others have been saved but only after substantial cloning work in photoshop.

In terms of general advice when shooting Barriak seascapes,

1) Arrive early to get your spot. Its a popular shooting location.
2) Take enough water, it can take quite a few hours to get ‘the shot’
3) Keep checking for seas spray!
4) Rather obvously, try and get the tripod legs on rock rather than in the sand.
5) Take waterproof boots and trousers or prepare to get wet :-)

Hope you like my shots. I wonder if I’ll return there one day. Its a fantastic location.

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