Perhaps this photo demonstrates as much as anything a change of direction in my photography. Having moved back to Northern Ireland I’m no longer photographing the North West England coast, but finding familiar sights from long ago, and other places that I’ve never visited before.
On Saturday we took a drive along the Mourne Coast and up through the mountains. We stopped here (wherever here is) to capture the road winding towards the mountains. I’m just beginning so many journeys (or perhaps recommencing some), but at least I know that the road is worth travelling.
One of the things that I look out for as I drive along the Southport coast road is an overcast sky. I know that beach goers tend to prefer sunshine, but my favourite images always include a cloudy sky. The darker sky allows the image to balance much more naturally, and even in daylight the result is pleasingly soft.
This is just a simple image with my usual components: marram in the foreground, sand, sea and sky beyond, each element drawing the eye further into the picture. Simple, but deliberately so.
Taking a walk around Southport’s Marine Lake the other day I decided to try for a long exposure shot of the lake, pier and bridge. The intense sunlight made it almost impossible to see the image on the camera’s screen, but I could just make out enough to get a few shots. I was so intent on getting the exposure right that I didn’t notice the tram setting off. You can see the blurred movement of the tram along the pier in the centre of the shot.
No focal point – I like to take images with no definite focal point. I think in the back of my mind I’m wondering how it would look on my wall – what I mean is, sometimes what makes a great photograph, because of a great composition with a point of focus in the foreground, actually is too busy to put on a wall and view over months or years. I think that the pictures on our walls (apart from family photos) should have a timeless nature to them, something that our eyes can ‘wander’ round without being drawn time and time again to that obvious focal point. I personally find this sort of image much more restful…
Having taken a walk around the Marine Lake in Southport recently (and taken a few photographs) I was impressed by the refurbished Victorian shelters. I have to confess to quite liking the old colour, even when it was faded and peeling, but the new dark green colour scheme looks sophisticated and blends well with the gardens. Both these photos were taken recently – the right hand image is from the northern end of the lake that hasn’t yet been refurbished.