The town of Hastings, nestled between two hills on the South Coast of England is one of those archetypal British resorts. There’s the old town, with all its quirkiness, and the new town alongside, stretching the promenade all the way along the coast. The pier has been subject to a recent modernisation project, but from a distance looks just the same as many UK piers.
The beach huts are ubiquitous all along this coast. For most resorts the choice of paint is up to the individual, resulting in many colours, and much fading and flaking. When I saw this set of beach huts by Hastings Pier I loved the uniformity of colour as well as the freshness of the paint. They make a wonderful foreground contrast to the pier and the setting sun.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Some days you go to the beach and it’s empty, some days it just seems far too busy! I captured these kite surfers on the beach at Ainsdale, the sun backlit the kites making the image feel nice and bright!
I was standing in the middle of Southport Pier, catching the last gasps of sunlight as the sun dipped below the horizon. I was using my wide angle lens. I saw the tram, honest, but it was oh so far away through my viewfinder! When the driver started tooting I thought it best to move to one side. I quickly placed the tripod and clicked the shutter. The tram flew past in a blur leaving me with this…
Is it the fastest tram in the North West, or was I just a little bit slower than usual?