Sunday, 10 June 2012

the art of living dangerously............advice from a Hasselblad master at sunset

Sunset over Camber Sands
Strange things happen when you least expect them.......

Last night after finally finding the sun at Camber Sands and escaping the grey clouds over London, I left dog sleeping quietly and popped out onto the dunes to watch the sunset with my smallest camera.

Other half was busy eating hog roast in Burnham on Crouch, and I was home alone.

As I stood on top of the dunes a man approached in the dusk, wearing a woolly hat. "You'll need a bigger camera than that to capture the sunset" said he. It seems he was a friendly sort, so I responded with a suitably inane comment, and we got chatting. He informed me that he was a photographer. I replied that I was keen as well. He told me he had just bought a house by the dunes and had fallen in love with the place. I explained that my tiny camera was OK for long exposures of waves at dusk, and that I got on just fine with it.

" Are you a professional photographer" he asked.

 "No", I replied

"Are you a psychologist?"  he asked.

"No" I replied. "What makes you says that?"

I was not in a hurry to give my true identity, as it can alter an easy conversation.

"Something about the way you talk", said he....." So what are you?"

It seems the truth would out.

"I am a doctor, but photography is my passion"

Ahh.............  as predicted everything changed, and he started telling me how healthy he was.

"Everyone says I don't look my age". He told me how old he was and I was not in the least surprised. He went on to detail his exercise programme and work schedule, and to tell me a lengthy
saga about a stye in his eye that all started when he went to a chemist and asked for a tube of the antibiotic ointment that defies gravity by expelling the entire contents of the tube when opened. I listened  and then, to my horror, he started taking off his jacket to display his physique as if to give proof.

"I hope you are not going to take any more clothes off" said I slightly nervously, thinking about what my other half would think of this conversation in the dark with no-one else around. Stranger danger was in the back of my mind as he assured me that he wouldn't.

Then I found out that he is a Hasselblad Master.

 If you don't already know, a Hassleblad master is a seriously good photographer. Only 12 people get this accolade each year. His camera cost around £26,000.

We are in completely different photographic leagues, and somehow everything changed again. This time I was in awe, and when he asked to see my pictures I felt totally inadequate and hurriedly showed him a Hipstamatic print from my phone.

Bins at Camber Sands

"Can I give you a tip" says he........... "use the rule of thirds" .................

I mumbled something and quickly showed him another.

Red zone at Camber Sands

"I like that" said he.

I felt relieved, and hurried off home before it got so dark that I couldn't see my way, and before anything more surprising could happen.

I looked him up on the internet and found a seriously professional fashion photographer who has photographed a number of famous individuals including Robbie Williams.

Strange things happen when you least expect them.


  1. you shouldn't take much notice now much a camera cost, as i seen great shots produce with cheap cameras, and rubbish shots produced by expensive cameras. A good eye for a photo, is priceless and you have that.


    1. You are absolutely right, but it says something about his level of expertise and ability to recoup the cost of the camera when it costs that much; thanks for your interest and comments.

  2. That's a funny story - just goes to show how you never know what's round the corner – and what tip a "photographic master" might offer..

  3. WOW! You never know who you might encounter. What a great story, enjoyed reading about your beach walk. What a fantastic resource you encountered.

  4. I am enjoying your blog.
    We met in Battle last week.
    Trouble with the rule of thirds is, it can develop into a nasty habit...

  5. Thanks Anna

    I love breaking the rules, which is why I cringed when he said that.

    I love your greeting cards of Rye harbour and Dungeness

  6. You never know how you will meet on Camber beach.
    Me for instance.