Beach Huts – A Very British Thing

Hastings Pier and Beach Huts at Sunset

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.

No Focal Point

No Focal Point

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…

Portaferry Sunset

Portaferry sunset

One of the little known beauty spots in Northern Ireland is Portaferry! It’s tucked away at the very tip of the Ards Peninsula, not a busy place. But there’s a tranquil beauty to surrounding water and countryside. Bounded by Strangford Lough, and the Irish Sea just over the hills the light is wonderful and the sunsets can be spectacular. Taking a walk along the coastal road one evening I captured this image of the sun setting over the bend of the road. We were walking back towards the town itself at this point, but I kept looking back, watching the light, and here’s the result!

Southport Pier Sunset

Southport Pier Sunset

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.

Southport Sunset

A Cloudless Sunset

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!

High Key Sunset in Southport

High Key Sunset

This is another shot from my 2 minute dash to the dunes by the Lido at Ainsdale. Isn’t it strange, despite that fact that I wasn’t living in Southport when the Lido was the Lido, it’s still called that.

I like the soft and pale tones that I managed to capture in this shot – a little bit different from the usual heavily saturated sunset photos that you see. I think it captures the mood of the time. Soft and gentle rather than harsh light.

Half Way Gone – Ainsdale Beach Sunset

Ainsdale Beach Sunset

Driving back from an appointment in Formby the sun was sinking fast as I approached the Pontins roundabout. After a long day I was keen to get home, and the light was weak, not stunning. I decided to give it a chance and headed for the Lido car park. The wind was blowing the sand off the top of the dunes, I had to walk backwards over the crest. The light was poor, there was no time to get the tripod, so I upped the ISO and took a few shots. A lot of the shots were too slow, and blurred, but I managed to grab a couple of nice images. This Ainsdale Beach sunset shot was just as the sun was half way gone. The colours can go a bit strange at this time of the day, but I like the results…

Southport Pier Sunset

Southport Pier Sunset

As the light fades the length of exposure increases which makes for some fun photography when there are moving objects (or people). I generally take a tripod when I go to Southport Pier so that I can get everything just right, it also means that I can capture moving walkers as the sun sets.

The Southport Pier sunset changes with the time of year, and at this time of year the sun is a little too far south to be spectacular, but I think it was still worth grabbing the shot!