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!
You can’t beat the combination of seaside marram grass and clouds with a sliver of sea in between – a cloudscape with marram!
We took a trip to the other end of the country for a few days. As it was a holiday I didn’t really have time to do much photography, but I did take my camera with me on the beach. This shot was taken hand held from the beach looking towards Brighton’s burnt pier. This pier has been the subject of many photographs, so I wanted to try and do something a little different. The shot was taken hand held, but slow enough to show movement in the waves.
One of the many abiding images of the Sefton coastline is the blown grass waveline of marram guarding the coast. The marram provides a perfect complement to the shoreline, soft grass contrasting with the flatness of the beach and shoreline on this stretch of coast. I love how the light changes every time I visit. The light on the water reflecting the blue of the sky. I call these sort of shots marramscapes 🙂
Southport is unique among British seaside resorts in that the best chance to see the sea is in a lake! The Marine Lake is a seawater lake just inshore from the beach. It can be refilled during the spring tides from the sea itself. Although it’s not very deep it does provide a great backdrop for the buildings along the promenade and also allows for some water sport that is impossible from the beach.
Looking back from the seaward side of the Marine Lake the Ramada Hotel stands proud against the skyline. The building, vaguely art deco in style, appears from up close almost like the prow of a ship about to enter the lake. From a distance, the whites of the hotel and surrounding buildings make a fine contrast to the darks skies and water.
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.