Lake District & Broadoaks Wedding Photographer

Teesside mini trip – 21st Feb 2015

Teesside mini trip

Saturday 21st Feb 2015

So today I had a contact message through Facebook from a good pal of mine who also loves Landscape Photography. It was a simple message which more or less said…

I’m off to Teesside for some photos this aft, wanna come?

Having not really been to Teesside and having nothing better to do the simple answer was – YES 🙂

Sarnies made, flask sorted, emergency chocolate bar loaded – oh and a camera – and come lunchtime we were off; and I had no idea where !!!


Here’s the rest of the trip’s story and a few images with details too

Turns out we first called to Hartlepool to go shoot some knackered pipework. After a 20 mins walk into a freezing headwind and rushing against a fast incoming tide we finally made it to the pipework, but a bit too late for what we had in mind. So a few snaps later and we had to retreat and shoot it from afar. It turned out to be an exceptionally high tide – more of that later

Some of the photos then…

This was the pipe thing we marched for. The original idea being to photograph it with some Long Exposure Photography by use of 10-stop Neutral Density Filters to really slow the shutter speed down to several seconds. This proved not to be possible as the tide was already further in than hoped for and rising quickly

One of the “Rules” of photography is not to have the horizon at the centre of the image – which it is here

The Best way to think of “Rules” is that they are not really Rules at all, merely Guidelines based on a collective appreciation of composition techniques. We all know the phrase ‘Rules are meant to be Broken’ and the suggestion that prior to breaking the Rules you must first learn them and abide by them. Well – here’s a Rule of Dave – that’s all cobblers !!!

If you are shooting for yourself and you like it – its fine – Rules (as guidance) only really matter when shooting for someone else, such as competitions or clients, and I’ll be posting a whole set of my own Rules soon enough for that

And image with a strong graphic nature will often work well in B&W, here (in post-production) a RED filter was applied to darken the blue sky

A somewhat arty version from the previous position. This shot was taken wide (17mm on a DX camera) to ensure ALL of the top cloud was captured. Again a RED filter has been applied as has a Curves adjustment in Photoshop to darken the whole image and make it more contrasty

Another twist on the enormity of the pipe structure where I wanted to include some immediate foreground detail, and place the emphasis of the image on the foreground. Although this image is shot at this lens’ optimum sharp point of f8 (as the others before it) you’ll notice that the pipework is falling out of focus the farther away it is. This fall-off is a result of the limitation of Depth of Field as the closest wooden beam is only some 4ft in front of me and that’s the point of focus, even a wideangle lens cannot carry the Depth of Field as far as the pipework from this position

This shot was taken while walking back along the beach. It’s all about the tones you can see in the wetter parts of the sand and how its reflecting the clouds. The footprints are a means of leading you into the image as your eye naturally follows them

Capturing beach shots (indeed any landscapes) is not all about shooting with wideangle lenses and shooting a vast amount of the landscape before you. While that works for the odd shot presented as an individual image, its often a good idea to capture a whole series of images that show the vast and the small as a means of giving a ‘taste’ of the whole landscape before you

When you find an interesting feature in the landscape, such as this wooden structure, shoot it from a variety of angles and in both portrait & landscape orientation. The ‘natural’ shot of this upright had it meeting the horizon, which would not have made for as good a composition, so here I had to climb a sand dune a wee bit, and in the following shot I ‘hid’ the fact that it is close to touching the horizon by it meeting the pipework instead

It was at this point, and just seconds later than the previous two shots, I felt the need to break out the emergency chocolate bar! While sat down munching away I turned to see this fluffy cloud behind the grass and another beach detail was grabbed

Another detail shot taken on the way back to the car for warmth & coffee. This pebble looked to me like it was hurtling towards the right of the image carving a path in the sand as it went, similar to images we see of comets blazing a trail across the heavens with their ice trails fanning out behind them; I was obviously having an ‘arty moment’

Same pebble, seconds later

And another as a ‘chip off the old block’ – or more accurately, a smoothed off piece of an old brick

And here’s my colleague and driver for the trip, showing the correct use of the variable height trouser leg & welly ensemble

This is the last shot I took walking back along the beach to my coffee supply, perfectly demonstrating why you DO NOT change lenses on a beach !!! The lighter streaks in the sand are in fact sand blown by the wind as it was drying the beach, it was like a mist of sand just a few inches high blowing along; change your lens here at your own peril


Next stop – Seaham – for “Chemical Beach” and some awesome rocks, pipes and a stack 🙂

Except that exceptionally high tide meant it was all 6ft under water 🙁


So on to… South Shields – we arrived at South Shields rather late with an already setting Sun. Time to choose the one thing we can shoot and just settle for that. Hence the next set of images are all of the Herd Groyne Lighthouse

Some chap was clearly taking his boat for a spin, which obviously had the locals waving at it. I’ve often seen people wave at boats, but never cars, trains or planes – odd that

Having my brain switch into ‘arty mode’ again, I shot this image to reflect the relationship between lighthouse and ship. Light levels were now falling fast and I switched to some Long Exposure Photography to finish the day with

30 second exposure now, just as they turned on the other lighthouses’ lights 🙂

And once the Sun had finally dipped below the horizon it was time to shoot towards it, giving the feel of a ‘War of the Worlds’ type shot – the crescent Moon is real btw

These last two shots are in fact one image processed in two different ways. This was the final image of the trip, partly as it was getting dark and partly as we’d been inundated with teenagers! There are 7 as I recall in this last image, but as they mostly move 6 of them didn’t record at all, and only one did. He climbed the stairs a wee bit and stayed still for about 8 seconds before joining his pals. That he chose the very BEST spot to remain still in was genius on his part, and he’s left a perfect ‘Ghost’ of himself in the first shot; the processing of the second version of the same shot has almost removed him from the image, but he’s still there – just

Teenagers can be so useful at times 🙂



So there you go – when I’m not acting as a Barnsley Wedding Photographer or a Lake District Wedding Photographer, when I’m not running a Lake District Landscape Photography Course or even organising a Lake District Landscape Photography Holiday I am in fact…

taking photos !!!

Its not just my work – it’s my hobby, my love and my passion too

If you’d like to join me for a course, holiday or even a tag-along session, simple CONTACT ME and we’ll get something sorted

See you soon – shoot with you lots 🙂


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