alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘south coast’ category

Foggy morning on the south coast

 

Boat by the pier

Boat by the pier

The weather has been quite glorious for the past week or two, but sometimes at this time of year the coastline can be affected by sea fog. More often that not it burns off but while it lasts it will bring the temperature right down. A few hundred yards inland it can be bright sunshine and much warmer.

The weather forecast predicted early morning fog, so I left for work much earlier than normal, took my camera and walked along the seafront for about half an hour and took the photographs you can see in this entry. I like the emptiness of a seaside resort first thing in the morning and when coupled with the fog it takes on a very different feel. Later in the day the blue skies and warm sunshine had encouraged people to come out and the coastline took on a whole new character.

 

Painted hut

Painted hut

 

Cockles and whelks

Cockles and whelks

 

Empty tables

Empty tables

 

Gull on a groyne

Gull on a groyne

 

Boat and huts

Boat and huts

 

Lone walker

Lone walker

All of the images in this post were taken with a Leica M Monochrom and 50mm Summilux lens. Straight out of the camera the images are very flat so they do need processing. I used Lightroom and then applied a Kodak Tri X 400 ‘film type’ preset in Silver Efex Pro which adds some grain and contrast to the image.

Click on any the photographs to view a larger version.

West Bay – A Dorset fishing harbour

Harbour wall

Harbour wall
It was low tide so the full height of the harbour wall was visible. I don’t know how old the harbour wall would be, but for many, many years, the water has risen and fallen with the tide, covering the old ladders, wooden posts and exposed brick and stonework. The buoys and reflections of the wall in the water, together with the wall itself I think make an interesting image.

 

Fishing harbours are wonderful photographic subjects, where the eye is inevitably is drawn to the fishing boats, clusters of old rope, endless rusty chains, small mountains of lobster pots, and piles of decaying painted wood – the list goes on and on.

Back in December when I visited the fishing village of West Bay on the Dorset coast (now famous as the back drop to the crime series ‘Broadchurch’),  I tried as hard as I could to avoid the obvious, which in this type of environment is a rather challenging thing to do. Whether or not I have succeeded is hard for me to judge but whatever the results, I spent a very happy hour or two walking around this most attractive location in relatively warm winter sunshine, with a camera in my hand looking for things to photographic. What could be better?!

 

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Bognor Regis – just being there.

Through my work and therefore out of necessity, I visit the seaside town of Bognor Regis on a regular basis. Situated on the Sussex Coast I have to say its not the most glamorous of resorts. Nevertheless the very fact that I find myself frequently in the town or driving along its seafront, it does provide some excellent opportunities for photography.

The three images which make up this entry were all taken on different days and at different times of the day.

The first image was an early evening shot taken in September of this year with the Olympus OMD EM5. I had just acquired the Panasonic 45 – 200 zoom lens (second hand from a fellow camera club member) and as I had not used it before, I was keen to see how well it paired with the camera and to see the results it produced. Its not every day that the such a beautiful cloudscape will appear in the sky, so I was fortunate to have chosen a great  evening for its first outing.

Early evening - Bognor Regis Pier


The second image is what I might call a ‘grab shot’. Taken around the middle of the day I had been driving along the seafront when I noticed a rainbow to the north. If I was quick I thought, I could park the car, hurry down to the seafront and take a shot of the beach huts in the foreground with the dark clouds and the rainbow as a backdrop. Unfortunately rainbows go as quickly as they come, so by the time I got to where I wanted to be the rainbow had lost all its intensity, and seconds later was no more. Mildly disappointed at the missed opportunity I turned around and composed the shot below, which in my view was more than adequate compensation. The couple walking along was a bonus, as it takes your eye right into the image. The Olympus E-PL3 with 14 – 42 kit lens worked a treat.

Beach huts

The third and final shot was taken early in the morning just a few days ago. Again the cloudscape was the reason for stopping the car and getting out, but I knew some foreground interest was required. I walked down to the foreshore and captured the image below, again with the E-PL3 and kit lens.

Rays of light over the sea

A famous quote attributed to the photographer called Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee, is ‘f8 and be there’. None of these shots were taken at f8, but the second element is certainly true!

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South coast seafront

I am very fortunate to live and work close to the sea, so the opportunity to take some coastal shots when I have a few minutes to spare are most welcome. A few days ago I took some photos of Bognor Regis seafront, although on this occassion I mainly concentrated on the Pier. Like many in this country the pier is always in need of repair. The constant ravages of the salt water, wind, rain and even the sun, all take their toll as the seasons pass by. From a photographic point of view  they also make good black and white subjects.

When I have more time I will take some images of other piers along the South Coast. They are a relic of a bygone era, and whilst many still survive others have sadly been lost forever.

Here are a few shots all taken with the Olympus OMD EM5 and Panasonic 20mm f1.7 prime lens. On this occasion the mono conversion was carried out in Lightroom 4 and not in Silver Efex Pro 2. I have also set up a preset in Lightroom which allows me to quickly batch process a series of images into black and white, using my preferred settings. These are mainly, adding contrast, clarity and sharpening, as I always shoot in RAW.

As it’s the end of October I suspect this may be the last time the ‘Bouncy Castle’ will be inflated this year.

Bognor Regis seafront

The rain was being blown in from the west….ready to inflict some more damage on the fabric of the pier.

Bognor Regis Pier

They really are extraordinary structures……………

Bognor Regis pier

…..and something has to hold them up.

Pier support

The caption for this last shot might be……..

‘Only survivors will be prosecuted!’

Only survivors will be prosecuted!

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Gathering storm at East Head

Last Friday was the second time I didn’t need to go into the office. It’s still a strange feeling working a four day week, but a very pleasant one all the same!  Having decided that I would try and devote some of my time every Friday to my photography, I thought that I should rekindle the Nikon D90 DSLR and perhaps visit the coast – attach a wide angle lens and see what I can produce.

Breakfast over, I packed everything I thought I might need in my camera bag and headed down to West Wittering, with the specific intention of exploring East Head. The sky was blue and completely void of clouds. A beautiful morning but as I drove to my destination I thought the weather was just too fine for the type of images I had envisaged taking. The weather forecast had indicated that by lunchtime clouds and maybe the odd the shower, would arrive from the west. I thought better of a morning shoot, turned the car round and headed home to do some gardening!
By lunchtime the weather forecast proved to be accurate; so back in the car and I headed south. As I parked up, the cloud formations were taking shape and I knew the decision I had made earlier to postpone my ‘shutter therapy’ (a phrase coined by Robin Wong – read his blog here) had been the right one.
By late afternoon the rain clouds appeared to the north and the wind moved them swiftly across the South Downs from west to east. In the meantime East Head itself was still bathed in glorious autumnal sun, which resulted in the three images below.

I returned home, downloaded the images using Lightroom and converted to monochrome in Silver Efex Pro 2.

Storm approaching.
Nikon D90 with 16-85mm @ 19mm f18 1/80 ISO200 hand heldStorm clouds at East Head

Sand dunes and wind blown grasses
Nikon D90 10-24mm @10mm f10 1/160 ISO200 hand heldSand dunes at East Head

East Head – the gathering storm
Nikon D90 16-85mm @16mm f18 1/125 ISO200 hand heldStorm approaching East Head at Wittering