Published: 15th April 2019
Location: Porlock Weir, Somerset and Woolacombe beach, Devon
A recent family holiday brought me to venture back into the world of seascape photography. I visited the small village of Porlock in Somerset and enjoyed a quick morning session around a very confined area of Porlock Weir. My old friends, rain and wind, joined me intermittently and did their best to gate crash the party. I was not beaten however and used the large wooden sea defence to shield me and come away with some good audio for my accompanying video.
I kept things to a minimum with the photography, firstly choosing a large wooden groyne that was running into the sea. It was still high tide which helped with the composition, creating some nice negative space around the main feature that meandered into the frame. Hurleston point made for a balancing feature to the overall look of the photograph. I wanted to try a long exposure to smooth out the water but my old friends, stubborn as they were, joined the party and made it difficult for me.
I stayed for around an hour, working a small space and composed using the wooden sea defences and their lines. I wanted to also attempt some close up shots of the varying patterns of the pebbles and stones. Karl Mortimer had given me inspiration through his excellent work and proof that looking down is often equally as rewarding as looking up with the camera.
The Mrs had reminded me that I was on a family break through a text and hinted that i should return to the cottage shortly. To be honest I had enjoyed this short session and although I did not find the time to explore the wonderful array of pebble patterns, I was quite pleased with my little adventure. On to another day which would take further West into Devon and it’s wonderful rugged short lines.
Woolacombe beach is a gold mine for photographic opportunities with its natural lead in lines and contours from the rocks. It was still within an hour of high tide and areas of the shore line were quickly revealing itself. There was an interesting weather system present on the horizon and I had to work quick if I was to combine the foreground interest with the background. This was a highly enjoyable time and didn’t involve dipping my carbon tripod into the dreaded sea salt at all but the surface of the coastal rocks were treacherous, not helped by my attire of welling boots, although equipped with some rather good grips.
I managed to capture a couple of portrait orientated shots with the nicely moody clouds on the horizon. I found it easy to adjust the camera and compose, using the shapes of the foreground. The landscape was changing quickly and more and more rocks were appearing as the tide receded. Luck was on my side that morning with the weather and the landscape but to be honest, the place itself was that good, it made life fairly easy for me. My challenge was to select the best from such a variety of shapes and patterns on offer.
Time was not my friend as I had to remind myself of my responsibilities of a Father and return back to base. Both Porlock but especially Woolacombe had proven what enjoyment could be had from seascape photography. The challenges were time and the importance to adapt to the changing environment. My dislike of sand and sea salt were not presented in either locations thankfully. I was fairly pleased with the result of both morning sessions and they certainly wetted my appetite to further add seascapes to my portfolio. I am within a few hours of the Yorkshire and Northumberland coastline and I will no doubt be hitting the shorelines very shortly.