Zenfolio | Justin Minns Photography - Client Area | Living with the enemy

Living with the enemy

March 03, 2015  •  1 Comment
LOng exposure of covehithe churchCovehithe church, Suffolk
Once a thriving small town, Covehithe is now just a quiet settlement on the Suffolk coast north of Southwold. Losing nearly 5 metres of it's sandstone cliffs a year to the power of the North Sea earn it the dubious honour of having the highest rate of erosion in the country. It is also my photographic nemesis.
We all have those don't we? That one location where things just never go our way? However interesting or beautiful the place is, the compositions or the conditions just don't come together. An unsuccessful trip is just one of those things, we can't (unfortunately) control the weather, we can't always find the composition we want or sometimes that creative 'zone' just alludes us. After a handful of those trips, with less than a handful of pictures of any worth to show for it, that place starts to take on a sinister quality though and the thought of going back yet again becomes less than appealing. Covehithe is that place for me, but memories of wasted early starts and long fruitless drives soon fade and it was working it's way back up to the top of my list.
 I usually do my landscape photography in the golden hours at the start or end of the day, it's not a rule or anything, just a habit. Last Sunday however, boring clear skies were forecast for sunrise so I broke with my usual habits and treated myself to a lie in. Instead, I decided to head out for a walk  later on, armed only with my camera. Ngetting up early, no planning, no checking tides, forecasts or sun positions and none of the pressure to get results that all of that effort sometimes brings. It was time to tackle my nemesis.
Midday possibly isn't the ideal time of day for such a challenge. The midday sun sends shivers down the spines of most landscape photographers who shy away from the harsh light like tripod wielding vampires. I was planning to shoot in black and white though and for that I actually like the contrast that a brighter day brings. Add to that the fluffy white clouds and threatening dark ones that were scudding across the sky, occasionally masking the sun's brightness or casting their shadows across the landscape and things were looking good. I was prepared for the task ahead.
Ok, maybe I'm getting carried away here but with several projects on the go, I must admit to feeling the pressure to produce lately and wandering along the cliff tops with no plan in mind was a welcome change of pace. I still haven't totally conquered my enemy but I've taken a step in the right direction and I can live with that.
Mono image of a dead tree on Covehithe Beach, SuffolkDead tree on Covehithe Beach, Suffolk
Long exposure of Covehithe beach, SuffolkDead tree on Covehithe beach, Suffolk


Melvin Nicholson(non-registered)
Nice little blog piece Justin about some of the issues us landscapers face on an almost weekly basis. The need to create can sometimes overtake the desire to do so and that can if we let it, heap more pressure on ourselves to deliver. I plan a lot these days, sunrise and sunset times, tide times, which hill will be lit at what time, what time of the year will a certain woodland area look its best, blah, blah, blah. Occasionally it is good for the soul to revert back to how you originally started shooting. A time when you didn't spend more time planning a shot then actually getting it, a time when The Photographers Ephemeris did not rule what hour we dragged our tired and weary bodies out of bed or when Google Earth dictated where we should stand to get 'the shot'.

Happy reading Justin and happy shooting too.
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Justin Minns is a part time photographer whose award winning landscapes have been widely published.



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