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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: Rough Weather

By |2018-04-16T14:45:11+01:00April 16th, 2018|Categories: The Test Strip Photoblog|Tags: , , , , , , |

This image was taken in late 1995 along the seafront at Scarborough, North Yorkshire during a particularly rough and cold winter storm. The weather was as unpleasant as the image suggests.

I was amazed to see people, all boys or young men, going down the path to get closer to the breaking waves. The path was slightly back from the force of the waves, the waves were breaking on the edge of a ramp, but had a rogue wave rolled in, the spectators would have had no escape from being washed into the sea. My vantage point was higher up, back away from the waves, but even there the noise of the waves and strong wind was deafening.

The camera was a Pentax Program A fitted with a 50mm lens, a lightweight camera (compared with a NIkon F3/F4) that was also quite small in size which i used for most of the 1990’s. Around 1996 I purchased the Super A model which had more program modes. Sadly my camera was a rather worn version that was reaching the end of its working life – the winding mechanism was very temperamental, but it was a great camera to use. The Program A, however, is always the camera i have fond memories of using. It never let me down.

Film stock was TMAX 400 rated slightly higher at ISO 800.

Edinburgh: Seven Hills

By |2020-01-30T20:05:53+00:00April 8th, 2018|Categories: Featured Gallery, Portfolio Galleries|Tags: , , , , , , |



Edinburgh: Seven Hills | Street and Landscape Photography

“Edinburgh isn’t so much a city, more a way of life… I doubt I’ll ever tire of exploring Edinburgh, on foot or in print.”


Ian Rankin

‘in eden Edinburgh, centred on the rock
our city with your seven hills and heavens’


To Edinburgh’ by Valerie Gills

Edinburgh is one of Britain’s most beautiful cities, ‘a dream in masonry and living rock’ perched upon ancient crags, with the medieval maze of the Old Town gazing across verdant gardens to the Georgian elegance of the New Town.

AA Guidebook to Edinburgh

The description above does come from a guidebook but beautifully sums up the appeal of visiting Edinburgh. It’s one of my favourite cities in the UK. Fortunately, it’s only around 1hr 40 mins train ride away from where I live. Close enough for a good day trip out.

My first visit took place in 1992. That was a quick day visit with no real-time to explore but it was memorable for discovering the atmospheric. vibrant and welcoming old and new town. Little did I know that a return to Edinburgh didn’t happen until 2015 when I travelled up to visit the Christmas market.

The photographs seen in the gallery date from 2015 onward.

Street Photography

The gallery includes quite a lot of candid street photography, an area of photography I’d like to explore more. The bus commuter images are among my favourites. The images were taken in the rush hour from the window of the apartment I was staying in on Princes Street. Traffic lights regularly stop bus traffic – cars are not allowed along the street. The harsh light from the buses and other sources just add to the isolation.

The level of detachment from the other passengers fascinated me. The passengers seem to care little for interaction with other passengers. Mobile phones, mp3 players, Kindles, books, newspapers or just staring out the window helping to pass the time on the journey. They were surrounded by people, and yet acknowledging no one. They just continue on their journey home. It’s something I’d like to explore further and I certainly intend doing more street photography of the bus commuters at a later date.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill provided quite a few good images when I visited one icy afternoon. The wind cut through you like a knife. That didn’t deter tourists were there in droves taking selfies or admiring the Edinburgh landscape.  The National Monument of Scotland especially seems to draw quite a few people for family photographs and photos for social media.

My visit to Calton Hill was initially to look for a photo location that I’d heard about. The view looking down Princes Street was taken at that location. Calton Hill is very popular and I managed to get some great street photography images. The photograph at the top of this post was taken just a few footsteps from the viewing area looking down Princes Street.

Related Galleries

The photographs in this gallery form part of the Scotland: Lowlands, Highlands and Islands project.

My 2015 Edinburgh photography called ‘The Two Towns’ can be found HERE

Photography Prints

If you would like to purchase a print then the Richard Flint Photography RedBubble store has a wide range of images available.

Framed prints, canvas prints, art boards, metal prints, acrylic block plus lots more can be found on the RedBubble store HERE.

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