Capturing the mood of England’s south coast

Blog Post

Capturing the mood of England’s south coast

Being naturally drawn to the sea, the mists, and the “moody” weather, I spend most of my time photographing the south coast of England. The coastline along Dorset being a favourite. Durdle Door, above, is a location that I had traveled to twice before I captured this image on my third visit. My first trip was to scout the location. On my second visit, the fog was so dense that, even when standing right on the edge of the cliff, I could not see the sea!

The third time I visited this location, a year later, I drove for about 3 hours through very dense fog again. The whole time I was driving, I was thinking to myself “here we go again…” On arrival to Durdle Door, the sun started to break through, the fog began to lift and the scene started to offer some really exciting photo opportunities. Later on, as the sun was setting, I was presented with this really stunning show of light. I used a Singh-Ray 3-stop hard-step ND Grad to balance the exposure and to intensify those shades of pink in the sky, colors which otherwise would have been impossible to record. The photo was taken with a Nikon D2Xs and a 17-35mm f/2.8D AF-S lens, for 6 seconds at f/16.

Brighton in the south coast, is a place that I keep going back to visit, simply because of the variety of subjects available to photograph. The photo you see here was taken during one of my visits to Brighton beach. I had walked past this scene many times before; and every time I did so, there was a fisherman in the frame fishing.

I took this photo on a really cold day just after the sun had set, to the right of the frame. The mixture of the pink and the blue tones in the sky, combined with the really strong green foreground is what really attracted me to this scene. The problem with capturing this scene was the brighter pink sky to the right of the frame. I opted for using a 3-stop hard-step Singh-Ray ND Grad to hold back the bright colours in the sky. The photo was taken with a Nikon D2Xs and a 17-35mm f/2.8D AF-S lens, for 20 seconds at f16.

I am currently working on a portfolio that includes photos featuring very simple compositions with clearly defined lines and light. The challenge with this project is really to get the “right” light, which doesn’t always happen. It’s a game of patience and chasing light. Singh-Ray filters play a major role in my process of capturing a scene the way my eyes see it.