Within the few miles of coastline that I frequent to find images for this blog there are some obvious subjects; Marsden Rock for example, or any of the lighthouses from Roker to St Mary’s. The trouble is that they are obvious to everyone else too. Souter Lighthouse, apart from being historically significant as the world’s first electric powered lighthouse, is also very beautiful so naturally is the most photographed location hereabouts. How do you take photographs in these locations without descending into cliché?
Trying to find something new might mean shooting in challenging lighting conditions, finding a new angle on an old favourite or perhaps both.
As I’ve been thinking about trying to shoot Marsden Rock at sunrise I decided to recce the spot today, and was blessed to find I had the whole of Marsden Bay to myself. Not ideal for finding portraits, but fine for getting your feet wet while trying to shoot long exposures of the tide washing over the rocks. Oops. Getting a bit clichéd again.
After a moment or two shooing the Caryatid-like pillars that nature had carved into the cliffs here I found my spot and was luck to have the bonus of a band of rain passing in the distance to give contrast to the image.
Quite like this one and might have pursued the idea further had the rain not decided to come closer.
By the time I climbed back to the cliff tops it had of course passed by, leaving the sun to break out and create a perfect rainbow which I duly photographed. Or should that be dully photographed. I couldn’t find much to make of the view that I was presented with, and would have preferred to crop down to a small segment if only there’d been something interesting at sea to aid the composition.On then to Souter. Tried a few shots from higher ground and low angles and these might have worked, but then I found something a bit different in a puddle left by the departing rain. There’s a shot of the place that I haven’t seen before.
Still no portrait though, so back to home turf where I spotted an elegant dog posing by the water’s edge. Good thing I was quick as the pose didn’t last long – the arrival of a small flock of birds skimming the water proved just too exciting.
Her owner, Carol, walked with me for a little way and told me that she was an artist so we discussed the patterns of light that had been at play all afternoon, and the icy blue reflected from the waters. I had found my portrait and it seemed appropriate in the processing to use a slightly heavier texture than usual to give a more painted feel. I hope you like it Carol.