Storm Brian brings high winds and heavy seas to the south coast

Hot on the heels of Ophelia came Storm Brian this weekend; the second storm of the season and continuing the Met Office’s ludicrous yet curious need for a naming convention. Brian was a fairly intense area of low pressure out in the Atlantic, undergoing rapid cyclogenesis before slowly filling and losing strength as it neared and then crossed the British Isles.


The only thing worse than all the accompanying ‘Life of Brian’ memes was trying to take a decent photo in the sodding wind!! The irony isn’t lost on me obviously, but it can be quite challenging trying to take photos in and of gale force conditions whilst at the same time trying to remember the correct camera settings, keep the camera steady, your hands warm and hope that elusive shot you’re after doesn’t happen whilst you’re wiping the lens clean. Which it did. Often.

A noon high tide coincided with the strongest winds to offer the most dramatic conditions, giving me the option of snapping Brighton seafront landmarks rather than my usual spot up at the Marina breakwater. With gale force winds out of the south west and the sun directly overhead however, any decent shot would be limited to facing east unless I wanted a lens full of seawater or a badly lit shot full of glare. Still, patience and perseverance is half the fun.

I was also grateful of the fact that Brighton’s promenade offers lots of places to shelter behind, though this meant having to rely solely on longer focal lengths to get the desired shot. By contrast, Hove promenade offers no shelter with shingle thrown across it as seawater crashed over the lip. High shutter speeds and taking advantage of any shelter was the order of the day then if I wanted to avoid any excessive camera shake as I didn’t fancy my tripod’s chances of standing up in this wind. Hopefully when Caroline comes around she’ll be packing equal force and I’ll remember to bring a couple of sandbags to weight the tripod down.