The Norfolk Coast (the unusual case of Britons wanting less sunshine...)

Ah, bank holidays.  Bank holidays are those wonderful British creations that are basically a permission slip from the government that excuse us from work (we won't mention the countless people that actually do have to go to work...sorry...).  The first bank holiday of May prompted a trip 90 minutes up the road to the Norfolk coast in the hope of creating some lovely landscape images.  We were at a slight disadvantage in that we would be on the coast at the worst time light-wise for photography but, hey, it made it more of a challenge.

First stop - Caister-on-sea


Light was very harsh on the beach (unsurprising, but still annoying), so I first started looking for details instead of wider vistas.  The tide was rushing out (or in, we couldn't tell as every time we thought we had decided our feet were drowned) and using a Lee Little Stopper I played around with some extended shutters.  There were some nice colours, with the frothy white sea and the (very clean) sand dotted by dark pebbles.


The only real option when shooting the horizon was a black and white conversion.  The colour raw looked OK, but pretty contrasty and full of shadows, washed out colours and  caused weird artifacts when processing to try and correct.  I'm not a massive fan of the image above, but I thought it was useful to show, not least for the fact that it reminds me to try and make something, even if the light is not ideal.  I do like the strong contrast and the movement of the sea, which was enough for me to include it here.  I used a Lee Little stopper and tripod to introduce motion (the Big Stopper was too much as you lost the pebbles on the left completely.  For some people that would have been preferred, but that's what makes photography great - do what you like!).

Ocean fisherman-

There were a surprising number of sea fisherpeople (there was a woman too - surely you cannot call her a fisherman?) on the beach.  I think this person was actually in the process of fishing, but it was almost impossible to spot the line stretching into the water.  He had some friends to the right who were setting up, but I really liked how alone he looked, but also how happy he was to just sit and wait for a bite.  This conversion was actually done with the Nik Silver Efex software (which is now free - see Nik Collection) and it added some grain, a slight vignette (which I actually toned down) and a nice colour cast.

Second stop - NT Horsey Wind pump

The wind pump at Horsey is currently being renovated and so there's the little brick stump building, and not much else.  At least that's what I thought.

Flooded by a sea of wheat-1646

You can walk either side of the waterway, and down the right side there is a trail that leads round a field full of wheat.  I really like this image (possibly my favourite from the day) as it appears as if the little boating hut has been flooded by the wheat.  The colours were also great due to the sun being softened slightly by some wispy clouds.  Again, the trusty Lee Little stopper was great for introducing the motion, which I really wanted here to add to the flooding concept.

There was also a very small boarded walkway through the field to that hut, but it was behind an old barbed wire fence along with the sign.  It seemed a shame that people cannot go and explore, but I can see why - the water snakes its way round and through the land here and you don't want to take a summer dip... I couldn't decide which image I liked more.  Maybe it is the landscape version (right) as it looks a little brighter, but maybe the vertical composition of the left one suits the foreboding sign and, you know, leading lines and all.

Norfolk spring-1658

Time was getting on, so just before we headed for home, we explored the other side of the walkway.  This side ends in a lovely seating area complete with benches and a little grassy jetty-like square.  I set up my tripod there (to avoid including lurking dog owners in the image) and again got to work with, you guessed it, my favourite accessory the Lee Little stopper.  I try not to overuse it, but not only do I enjoy shooting the motion it creates and I love the colours it produces.

So, that was our brief day on the coast.  It was a struggle at times to find images, but it was still great practice to get out and use my gear.  And it was fun, which is the point, isn't it?