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Week 3: Panoramic views of Shoreham

January 25, 2013  •  2 Comments


Hi all, and welcome to week 3 of my blog, featuring landscapes with not a person in sight!  On the face of it, landscape photography has little in common with wedding and portrait photography.  In fact, only a small minority of photographers shoot both genres commercially, and the advice given for those that do, is to maintain separate websites, so that prospective brides do not perceive your people photography skills to be inferior to those shooting solely weddings for a living.

Possibly good marketing advice, but I disagree with the sentiment entirely!  In fact, I think the opposite is true.  Namely, that having an eye for what makes a good landscape photo can only enhance a photographer's skills in people photography.  I have shot weddings on boats, beaches and the most gorgeous UK wedding venues, all of which have been chosen by the couple largely for their attractive surroundings.  When they hire me as their photographer, they want me to photograph them within that setting.  No, there isn't usually time to take out a tripod, or to spend hours waiting for the perfect light, but a few carefully composed images of the surroundings can really enhance a wedding album.

Even as I photographed the images in this week's blog, I found myself mentally considering where I would position the bride, or the family having outdoor portraits taken.  



Anyway, having decided to shoot a series of panoramic shots for this week's blog, I was disappointed by several days of dreary skies and rain.  So on the first day of waking up to sunshine, as soon as I dropped the kids off at school, I raced out to catch the morning sunlight.  Armed with tripod and warm gloves I headed off to the Norfolk Bridge which separates Shoreham town from Shoreham Beach, and used the curvature of the bridge to frame the tidal river Adur below.  Being low tide, the winding river and exposed mud flats made interesting shapes and a pleasing composition. 

Lucky I got out (ahem, relatively) early:  within less than an hour the sky closed in, and the light became flat and dull.   With snow expected by the week's end, I returned home, excited at the prospect of snowy panoramic scenes.  As it turned out, we did indeed get snow (rare for Shoreham which, for my non-local readers, is located on the South coast).  But the blizzard conditions continued through the first day and night, so I had to resign myself to quick snapshots of the kids sledging.



Day two, the milder temperatures had melted much of the snow, and the sky was grey/white.  Not quite the dazzling, crisp snow and blue skies I'd hoped for, but a least I could safely get my camera out.

I photographed three scenes instantly recognisable to Shoreham-ites:  The Amsterdam Pub (above), which greets you as you enter Shoreham from the North;  the view from St Mary de Haura, a lovely Norman church in the centre of Shoreham;  and a view across the river Adur towards Lancing College.


View from St Mary de Haura


Each scene was composed from either three or four separate images, which I later stitched together in Photoshop to make a panoramic. The snow-capped grass and buildings added interest to the scenes, but dull skies failed to bring the colours alive, so I decided to enhance the deserted, wintry, feel of the locations by converting into monochrome.  The slight brown tint I think adds a timeless feel to the images. 
Mental note to self:  return to the old boat location (above) on one of those days when the setting sun and right combination of cloud produces dramatic pink and orange skies!  
That's all for now folks!  As I write, I'm pleased to report that our second snowfall of the season, a week later, produced some interesting  skies and resulting snowy beach hut images of which I am particularly proud!  All will be revealed in week 4!



pamela Mary Westmore(non-registered)
I was trying to work out were James baker pyne painted his watercolor of shoreham, thanks to you pictures of the Norfolk bridge i can see it was close to sear you took your photos
Makes me want to visit Shoreham. It's a shame the snow didn't last for long! Look forward to your next blog.
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