a day trip on the mersey ferry snowdrop
At the beginning of May 2019 Mersey Ferries put on a special 3 hour cruise to Liverpool Bay. Usually the Ferries only stay in the River and do a 50 minute cruise or a weekday commuter service.
This trip was a new addition to the schedule. The Ferry MV Snowdrop (aka The Dazzle Ferry) left Seacombe Ferry Terminal at 4pm. As it was Spring the trip would coincide with golden hour. Golden hour is great for photographers. Its the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. On a sunny day that sky turns a lovely shade of orange. Golden hours can be great all year round as there is always a sunset.
It was great to have the 'Shanty Kings' on board to entertain us.
It was a lovely Spring day. Quite windy but sunny. As we left Seacombe to head over the river to Liverpool, the other Mersey Ferry 'The Royal Iris of the Mersey' was starting her 50 minute cruise. I had two cameras with me. My mirrorless Canon M3 with a 18-200 mm Tamron lens and my back up camera the Panasonic Fz272 (i think thats what its called) bridge camera. The bridge camera has fantastic telephoto zoom.
My 18-200 mm lens helped me get this picture. I was using manuel settings on my camera. Shutter speed of 1/250 sec helped freeze the movement enough to get a sharp image. The ferry was going up and down so freezing the action was important
After about an hour or so we left the Mersey and passed Crosby and Burbo Bank on the Sefton Coast. We went past an old shipwreck (see image below) and headed towards the windfarm in the distance
Being on the back of the ferry was quite an up and down affair as there was a lot of wind. A tip for you... If you are bald wear a hat! I didnt!
We reached the windfarm in the bay. We felt so small on the ferry compared to the magnificent wind turbines. Was great to be so near the sandbanks too at low tide. Even from places like New Brighton you do not get to see these so up close. I used a polariser on my Tamron lens. A polariser is like a pair of sunglasses for the lens. It helps take away any glare on the water etc. Again a fast shutter speed is vital as the ferry was going up and down.
As we headed back towards Liverpool the battery in my Canon M3 ran out ( i now always carry spares. I learnt my lesson) I started using my bridge camera. My Canon M3 is 24mp and my older Panasonic is 16mp.
When we got back to Seacombe Ferry Terminal the Royal Iris of the Mersey was waiting for us.
In conclusion this trip is great for anyone interested in photography. Lots of changing conditions to contend with, light, rough seas etc. Would highly recommend the trip to anyone who loves the Mersey Ferries. The Shanty Kings were great too. They asked for the videos that were taken on my mobile.
www.merseyferries.com for more details on next years trips to Liverpool Bay. Please note im not sponsored by Mersey Ferries (one day :) )
flic.kr/s/aHskUjtCG1 to visit all the photos from the day
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Hi and welcome to my new monthly blog.
A bit about myself
I am a 47 year old photographer from the city of the Beatles, Liverpool. I was a Civil Servant for 25 years. I left in 2015 and i realised I had to start a new chapter of my life.
I was attending CBT therapy and the therapist said its good to get our and smell the roses.... so i did. I had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression in 2015. The therapist said it would be good to get into nature. This will help me get exercise and appreciate the beauty around me.
Up until July 2016 i just used my iPhone 5c camera phone. The quality wasnt the best:
I had no idea about iso, apeture or shutter speed. I just took scenes I thought were nice.
In July 2016 i purchased a Panasonic FZ272 bridge camera which helped me get better quality pictures:
I spent a while just using manual mode. Didn't know what the other modes did? Was more than happy with auto mode.
I used to watch a number of photographers online such as Thomas Heaton and Gary Gough. They gave tips about using manuel mode, shutter priority or aperture priority.
I bought a Canon mirrorless M3 24 mp camera and started practising using manual l mode.
My mother unfortunately passed away in February 2019 at 82 due to complications from heart surgery. She left me a bit of money for camera gear so i upgraded to Canon 80d DSLR camera with speedlite flash and Canon printer. I started using aperture priority.
It is a very good camera. Its not a top of the range but very nice.
Practice is vital to improving your skills. I try and post as much as I can on social media.
Next month I will be sharing my social media experience.
Thanks for reading Dont forget, keep smelling the roses!