There’s a wonderful soft light to the South Downs, and there are spectacular views from the top of the Downs all the way to the coast, and along the spine of the chalk hills that comprise the South Downs.
One of the enchanting aspects of walking the Downs is the sense of layers that are laid out before you. Ditchling Beacon is my nearest viewpoint, and it’s the perfect place to capture these layers. First of all there’s the grass along the paths, and the wildflowers along the fences. Then there are the fields of every shade and colour in the middle distance. And topping it off are big skies.
We went for a walk down on the beach last night. The beach, as usual was a mess, more mud than sand, not really pleasant. Also, as usual, the pier was locked long before sunset so I resorted to the usual method of sticking the lens between the bars of the gates. This was a multiple exposure combined to show the foreground detail while keeping the colour in the sky.
At certain times of the year, the sun sets directly behind the end of the Pier in Southport. Sometimes the sky is dramatic, often it can be cloudless and flat. Occasionally the colours are rich and warm (this shot did receive a little help in that direction in post processing).
Timing it right I caught the last gasp of sunlight before it sank below the pier railings. I hope you enjoy the shot!
Here’s another perspective from the church yard of St. Mary’s church, Kirkby Lonsdale. This is the church that was used for the exterior shots in the recent BBC TV series: Jamaica Inn. I loved how the entire surrounding area still looks old – apart from the TV aerials on the houses there’s a wonderful period feel to the area.
It’s sometimes possible when editing photos on a computer to look too much at the histogram and not at the actual image. We can focus on highlights and blacks, and on getting a good spread of tones, which is all rather academic. What you really need to do is concentrate on the final image and how you see it. I loved the soft tones of the RAW image for this shot and decided to try and enhance the gentle tones and light…
En-route to see a client yesterday I took my constitutional 5 minutes to stop at Ainsdale beach. There was total cloud cover and not a lot of light. I noticed a few gulls following the shore line so I went for a longer zoom to capture them flying above the fence line.
It was cold, wet and windy, but the sun was setting, so I grabbed a few shots as the sun sank behind the pier. The wave patterns in the foreground sand add a wonderful foreground interest to this shot.
What do you do when you want to shoot a landscape, but there’s nothing interesting nearby? Use a long zoom, of course! Shot from Ainsdale beach you can see Formby and North Wales in this shot.
Southport and Ainsdale beaches are vast, flat and featureless. As a photographer you have to latch onto any object of interest, even if it is a solitary shell in the middle of that vast, featureless expanse of sand. It’s a good job I like minimal photographs as the Sefton coast lends itself to this sort of shot!
Seen at Fistral Bay, Newquay, Cornwall. Surfer dude coming in from the sea.