No. 12/32 #Project 32

Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland

We arrived at Bamburgh late afternoon after spending most of the day on Holy Island. Bamburgh is well known for its impressive and picturesque castle that sits proudly on the beach and has been used in many films and most of visit Northumberland's leaflets etc! The actual village itself is tiny so that took very little time to explore (just enough time for Giulia to polish off a cream tea) and so we headed down onto the beach nice and early in preparation for a sunset shoot. The beach is really impressive, lovely wide sweeping vistas greet you and the sand stretches south as far as the eye can see.

quick snap of Bamburgh Castle

quick snap of Bamburgh Castle


We headed north up the beach towards the rocky outcrop where you can actually get a view back towards Holy Island from. We were hopping from rock to rock scoping possible viewpoints for later on. I had in my mind it would be nice to get some shots of the castle at Sunset but I knew really it was the wrong time of year due to sunset positioning etc. However, I did originally set-up in that direction but soon realised (a) I hadn't picked much of an interesting foreground and (b) all the colour in the sky was over my left shoulder looking north not south. 

So, a quick swing around with camera and tripod and I headed back up to the rocks. There was a wonderfully 'blue twilight' feel to the light and the damp rocks in the foreground add some interesting texture. I'm not 100% happy with it but bearing in mind it wasn't what I originally had in mind I'm happy I was able to change plans mid-action and take best advantage of what was available. Now I've scoped these places out hopefully the 2nd visit in the future will bring more success.

See this and all the other Project 32 images by clicking here.

No. 11/32 #Project 32

Harthope Burn, Northumberland

On the last day of our Northumberland trip we headed inland. After a few days of coastal exploration we wanted to have a look at the Cheviot Hills and what was buried deep within.

A bit of a sucker for moving water I tried to google 'northumberland waterfalls' - the weather was on/off and a dull day can be best for shooting waterfalls as it gives an even diffuse light that means the dynamic range (from very bright to very dark) isn't too big. This helps the camera capture all the relevant light without being stretched too far when you slow the shutter speed down to catch water in a softer, dreamier style.

We'd driven into the Langleeford Hope area of the Cheviots down a single track lane for 2 miles or so, dodging sheep and cows that were strewn around the road as we went. The clouds were fairly low lying and so it provided a nice English atmosphere, reminding me of the Lakes with it's slightly damp mossy feel. When we reached the end of the drivable track it was time to carry on by foot.

Another 2 or 3 miles up the track and we'd had some waist deep terrain to navigate and time was ticking a little (we still had to drive 6hrs back down south at some point that day!). We were in search of the Harthope Linn waterfall which I read was about a 20ft drop into a pool, but hard to far no sign and it appeared we were in the right place on the map. With Giulia suffering something of a temperature (oops, it was actually the start of flu!) we decided to cut our losses and head back. We could however hear some rushing water not far from the path but down a 10-15ft incline and then about 25 metres or so up along the route of the burn away from the walkable with the sun out for a minute off we went!

It's around here somewhere!

It's around here somewhere!

After a bit of 'river bank hugging' and some comedy moments slipping on very slimy rocks we found the view of the mini falls and settled on that as a good compromise. I actually took a few shots at different heights with the final Project 32 version being my favourite. There probably was a better composition to be had but I was perched on the only rock big enough to take me and some of my tripod, it was actually fairly deep around me so there weren't many other options.

The trick is not to fall in...

The trick is not to fall in...

As we headed back to the car after about 30-45 mins at this spot the heavens opened (probably not helping the flu situation) and we got totally drenched, thankfully just as we got back to the car it ceased for a few minutes allowing for a quick change of clothes hopping on one foot and hoping no-one else came along mid change! I bloody loved it...

See this and all the other Project 32 images by clicking here

No. 10/32 #Project 32

Holy Island, Northumberland, UK

I've been reading and re-reading a couple of books recently featuring the photographer David Ward, he's pretty big on abstract images and does an amazing job at it. It's not an area I've really got into, with my preference generally being for wider landscape vistas, but on one of the Holy Island beaches I spotted this textured pattern in the sand.

The skill is to take something seemingly simple looking and make it work visually. There are various 'rules' of composition and each image ideally takes the viewer on a journey through the frame. Of course rules are there to be broken but most successful images can be dissected to reveal for example the use of thirds in the composition and some sort of leading line flow or direction for the eye. Here I've tried to balance the top left and bottom right of the image with the textured sand 'pouring' out towards the bottom left side of the frame. 

I think this type of image generally works better in a similar series as opposed to a 'one-off' but that's all you're getting for now!

This image is No.10 in my Project 32 series, to see the full portfolio please click here.

No. 9/32 #Project 32

Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland, UK

We had a great trip unto Northumberland recently for a friends wedding. We managed to tag a few extra days onto our visit to have a look around the area as we'd never been before.

I can safely say we were massively impressed. Such wonderful coastal and inland areas of natural beauty and an area packed full of history due to it's proximity to the Scottish border and all the back and forwards that has brought over the years.

This particular image is of Lindisfarne Castle which is actually on Holy Island. There are visiting restrictions due to the causeway being flooded daily by the incoming tide so if you do go, check the tide times! Once on Holy Island the south side (it's only about 3km in total) is very busy with tourists visiting the village and castle, however if you carry on walking around the island you can soon be away from the crowds and enjoying the pristine coastline.

Despite being generally lucky with the weather over the weekend there were some pretty thick brooding clouds on this morning (much better for photos!) and I tried to capture some of the wild and timeless nature of the view. I was pretty much leaning through a gap in a stone wall to get this angle and there wasn't much space for composing, however I'm fairly happy with the result and just looking at the image I can feel the freshness of the wind buffeting around and the history of others who've seen this view for hundreds of years. Thankfully there were no Vikings in long boats approaching during our visit...

This image is No.9 in my Project 32 series. To see the full portfolio please click here.