11 degrees

DSC_8306-EditI started shooting a portrait project this morning to document the hardy bunch of sea swimmers on the Isle of Man. Every Sunday of the year, no matter what the weather is doing, they meet-up and they swim. Some wear wetsuits, others don’t. This morning was cold, much colder than it has been – the air temperature was about 8 or 9 degrees, the sea was warmer, a balmy 11 degrees…

I do quite a bit of sea swimming myself, I’ve taken part in The World Outdoor Swimming Championships in Finland, racing 50 meters in a whole cut out of the ice with water temperature half a degree above freezing. I’ve also taken a swim well inside the Arctic Circle, in Norway. This morning, I wasn’t really feeling the love for being cold, to be honest! I stayed onshore.

While I was waiting for the swimmers to come back in I overheard a man talking to his wife about the swimmers, “Just fantastic! Where would the world be without people like that in it?”. Where indeed.


All images were made using a Nikon D800E and 35mm 1.4 lens. I’m still deciding whether to shoot the project black and white or colour…? DSC_8301DSC_9287


  1. Stephen

    Mad sort of comes to mind. My son decided to take part in the annual dive here in Belgium at the “Plate Taille” on the 1st of January, he decided that he wouldn’t do it again… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Streetshooter

    Maybe shooting to a preconceived notion of B&W or Color is not s good idea. I would shoot digital Raw and then let each image tell how it want’s to be presented. The first photo is very good, not because of it being B&W but because it’s compelling and would be either way. Our work talks to us, all we have to do is listen.


  3. These are such great portrait shots. You’ve managed to capture an essence, special something in each person. As for the B&W vs Colour conundrum, I love B&W but think that it can have a documentary feel about it, which creates a distance between the viewer, whereas colour has the vivaciousness of bringing life to the image. I think colour works really well for these images because you can really see the paleness of the skin contrasted with the redness in the lips, the subtle pink tones where the goggles pull on the skin, the shades of blue in the eyes, the bright orange of the floaty and swimming caps against the cold dark water.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: