Blackpool is easily seen from Southport on a clear day. It’s only 9 or 10 miles away as the crow flies (or the fool walks), but it’s a circuitous route around the Ribble Estuary to actually get there. So this is the long end of my longest zoom to see the skyline from all the way down on Ainsdale beach. The sky was clouded over bringing a soft light and gentle contrasts. I hunkered down between the marram clumps to place the view in context and balanced the marram, sea, skyline and sky for this shot.
The Southport coastline can be a little featureless, so I’m always on the lookout for something to add a little interest to these images. To be honest, I love the minimal style that this coast imposes on me, but the eye needs a focus and a direction.
I love these heavily cloud covered seas because the darkness of the sky is reflected in the sea, giving a wonderful dark line along the horizon. In contrast, the gentle slope of the beach provides a soft white line of tide rather than the athletic waves of other coastlines.
In combination the grass and sky provide the layers and the dark and white lines provide a focus for the eye to rest on.
The Sefton coast is a vast space, and once the autumn chill sets in the beach is largely deserted. On an overcast but warm autumn day you will see the occasional visitor loitering along the water’s edge. The tide comes in so gently on this gently sloping beach that it’s a rather tranquil experience standing and watching the water lap gently closer and closer to the tide line.
With the flat light on the surface of the water the sky and sea blend almost seamlessly into one vast bright plane of soft colour and light. The couple standing at the water bring a sense of scale and perspective to the image.
The vastness of the Sefton dunes is rarely broken, but in one or two places there runs a thin ribbon of wire supported on wooden fence posts. From a distance these fences leave barely a trace on the landscape of marram grass. But, get up close to a single post, and the grass becomes the backdrop, and the post becomes the focus.