Southport Pier – Searching for the definitive Shot

Southport PierI’ll confess to photographing Southport Pier many more times than any normal person should, and yet, after all these shots I’m still searching for that definitive image, the one shot that becomes the accepted look for this landmark. In part this has been prompted by the widespread unlicensed use of an early shot of Southport Pier. Given that so many locals seem to think that this is the shot to use I thought I might try to improve on my 2007 equipment and skills. This isn’t an entirely new shot, but it’s been processed in a radically different way to try and build on the feel of the previous image.

What works? Well, the red sky seemed to attract attention. In the 2007 shot this was done by adding an old fashioned tobacco graduated filter at the time of taking the shot. This image is a composite to improve the dynamic range – the colour was then boosted in Lightroom to give it a similar (if more saturated and contrasty) feel. The leading lines of the planks also help to make this a shot that draws the eye in.

Is this photo of Southport Pier the definitive shot? I don’t know. For now I like it, but, I know that sooner or later I’ll be drawn back to try it again…