THE SHAPE OF WATER
Devon, England - 2020
This photograph, taken up river at low tide on the Bantham Estuary in Devon, was hatched in my mind when I scouted the location alone the previous week.
I needed a day when sunset would be coupled with low tide and mathematically that only happens once every two weeks. When shooting west, a low tide was necessary to be able to work the estuary on foot and a low sun would allow for shade.
Finding the day required just 60 seconds research on the internet, but of course there could be no assurance that the weather on the optimum day would be good - especially in the UK. Without sunlight, there wouldn’t be a picture - I would not have enough light to freeze the action and secondly there would not be enough contrast between the subject and the background. I needed a beautiful evening and a sky free of cloud.
But that day our luck was in and I was able to shoot the running stallion at 1/3000th of a second. This was enough for every drop of water to be pin sharp. The configuration of the spray and the shape of the water was always going to be random, I just had to try and focus on the horse’s head. It was a low percentage shot, but this one frame was almost exactly what I had in mind.
I would like to thank my friend Nicholas Johnston for allowing me to work on his stunning estate and also providing the help we needed on the day.