coast

Tag: coast

From the Archive: Walking the Dog

By |2018-07-19T11:27:36+01:00July 17th, 2018|Categories: The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , , |

A couple walking their dog on the beach near Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk, UK

This is an image from 2016 but only just been recently added to the Norfolk gallery. Just viewing this photograph puts me back in a year that i’d rather forget, though that feeling is starting to fade with the passage of time.

Nearly two years ago, I ended up going on an unplanned trip to Norfolk for a week. My mother, who’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer just a few months before, had wanted one last final family holiday even though her own health was failing at a terrifying pace. We all needed a break after the months of bad news stacked on bad news. No silver lining had appeared. No miracle was going to occur. Emotionally we were all exhausted. Burnt out.

With hindsight we should have made the decision to holiday a lot earlier, but the chemotherapy and other hospital visits had made the possibility of getting away impossible. With the chemotherapy cancelled due to my mother’s weak health, the opportunity arose to take that holiday at the end of September 2016. Very quickly we made the decision to go to Norfolk and, as it happened, we made it just in the nick of time. Within a week or two of our return my mother would be incapable of travelling anywhere.

The ‘holiday’ took place in September 2016 and went better than I could have imagined. The change of scene did us all good even though my mother didn’t have the physical strength to get about that much. Norfolk had been an old family holiday favourite so it was a friendly and familiar place. Best of all, the travel distances involved were not huge. It was an escape, if only just a partial one, that enabled us all to relax us a little bit.

Sand blowing over the beach near Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk

I’d visited the beach near Burnham Overy Staithe on numerous occasions and taken one or two good images there including the photo of the man walking along the beach (carrying his boots) in a thick sea fret. Happy memories. To get there you have to walk along a winding path, probably about a couple of miles from the harbour car park at Burnham Overy Staithe. On a calm late summer evening, it’s a great way to enjoy the view, listen to the sounds of the Norfolk coast and soak up some fresh sea air. Peace. Bliss. Escape.

A strong but warm wind blew across the beach which seemed to blow all the worries away. The strong wind didn’t deter other visitors from enjoying the beach and it was those people that i concentrated the camera on. Photography is a great therapy. It can provide a purpose and an mental distraction just when you most need it. The instinctive mental process of looking for photos blocked out any other thoughts. I see a shot. One couple were particularly enjoying the vast expanse of space, their dog energetically chasing a thrown bright red ball again and again across the sand.

Chasing the red ball - a dog runs after a thrown red ball on a beach near Burnham Overy Staither, Norfolk, UK
Chasing the red ball – Norfolk Beach

The wind was incredibly strong and did cause some problems keeping the camera steady, but the light was bright so i did have a wide variety of shutter speeds to choose from. One thing i did want to capture was the movement of the fast moving sand so i tended to keep the shutter speed as low as i dare – around 1/80s @ f/22 for the top dog walking image, moving up to 1/250s @ f/11 for the lower red ball image.

The dog walkers were among the last pictures taken on the beach before i walked the couple of miles back to the car park.

The camera was a Nikon D3 using a 80-200mm Nikon f2.8 lens.

More images from the Norfolk project can be found HERE

From the Archive: The Sunbather

By |2018-06-14T16:07:32+01:00June 15th, 2018|Categories: The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , , |

No matter how many times i look at this photo, i still can’t believe that the man was comfortable lying on that pebble beach. He did seem to be enjoying soaking up some rays.

This image was taken on the sea front at Sheringham in Norfolk around 2008. Walking along the sea front, i could see this chap sunbathing from quite a way off and I just hoped that he would stay there until i could get there… AND get the photograph. Fortunately he didn’t move even though he was literally just a couple of yards from the sea front path with people walking by. No one paid him the slightest bit of notice.

As luck would have it, a bench was located directly across from where my sunbather lay that provided a place to sit and a lower viewpoint for the photography. The resulting image is one of my favourites from the Norfolk Project combining a surreal moment with some humour. On the return journey, after visiting the lifeboat station at the end of Sheringham’s sea front, i noticed that he’d gone. I suspect he was waiting for his wife to return from town.

The 6×6 format was used a lot in the Norfolk Project, mostly in a landscape role, but I also found it good for street images like this one. I would often remove the prism finder and look as though i was cleaning the camera – then focus and get the image. I imagine most people thought i couldn’t take a photo with a piece of the camera missing!

The camera was a Bronica SQAi using a 80mm lens. Film stock was Ilford FP4. Sadly i haven’t shot much 6×6 in recent years. I think it’s time to revisit the 6×6 format again sometime soon.

More images from the Norfolk Project can be found HERE.

From the Archive: Salthouse Couple

By |2018-03-15T23:18:10+01:00March 16th, 2018|Categories: The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , , |

Another photo from the archive… and yet another image of a couple.

This image was shot in Norfolk near Salthouse, a small village on the North Norfolk Coast around 2008. I was parked in the car park near to the beach and saw this couple, just as i was about to tuck into some fish n’ chips. Sadly the car park no longer exists due to coastal erosion. Gone too is the large pebble sea defence the couple are standing on. Both were claimed back by the sea within the last few years.

The two postures, her intent concentration on using her mobile phone and his gaze out to sea, combined with the line of the sea defence banking compliment, and yet contradict, each other nicely. The lady was distracted by the phone and yet the man was obviously more interested in the seascape before him. Maybe the image says something about how easily we can be distracted by technology or our surroundings  –  the prevalence of the smart phone in recent years has only made the distraction even worse.

Around three images were shot on the Nikon D2H before they moved position – the text message read or answered.

This image is part of the Norfolk project that can be found HERE

From the Archive: Beaumaris Couple

By |2018-02-12T16:58:17+01:00February 12th, 2018|Categories: The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , , |

This image of a couple, lost in the moment on Beaumaris Pier, is one of my favourite photographs. It was taken in July 2003 during a visit to the town of Beaumaris, located on Anglesey, North Wales. The town has superb views looking over the Menai Staits towards the mountains of Snowdonia.

In 2003, i’d just started changing camera systems, going from a Pentax over to a Nikon system which limited my lens choices. The camera used was a Nikon F4s with a Tamron 80-210mm zoom set to around 200mm. The Tamron lens were especially useful during the stop-gap transition as the lenses featured the the Adaptall 2 mount system allowing a change of lens mount – just buy the Nikon adaptor to go from a Pentax KA bayonet to the Nikon AI-mount. Very handy and affordable as AI mounts could be found on e-Bay for under £20 each and you could sell the old KA ones!

Film stock was Ilford FP4. At the time i was using a mix of FP4, HP5 and Kodak Tmax 400 for black and white work. I later decided that I preferred the tones of HP5 film instead and went over totally to Ilford. An occasional roll of T-Max can be found in my camera bag though. T-Max dev has remained my film developer of choice , a constant in my black and white photography since 1991.

I’ve always loved the framing and the even use of space within the picture. From the handbag placed on the seat on the left, past the couple to the telescope, and even the harbour buoy on the right hand side, everything seems to be in its proper place. The picture is well balanced. The slight mist that day also helped create this dream like shore across from the couple. The picture just came together perfectly. For me, it represents the special moments within a relationship – sharing moments, places and feelings with someone you love.

The couple themselves were lost in the moment and had no idea i was there. I’d seen them as i approached the pier and i sped up slightly to make sure i caught the moment. The body language was just fantastic. They stood like that for some time, just looking out to sea, and i was able to get around five or six frames before i moved on.

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