The opportunity to take snowy beach landscapes doesn't come around very often on the south coast, so I feel very lucky that the snow blizzard finally stopped, and gave me a 60 minute window to capture these photographs.
I started photographing icicles on the beach huts around 4.15pm, and within 20 minutes, the sky started to darken and glow with streaks of pink. As I walked along the beach, looking for good places to set up my tripod, I came across this lovely snowman, and decided on a low camera angle to give him pride of place on the beach wall.
Within another 20 minutes, the sky looking east towards Brighton became an intense pink, complimenting the snow and pastel colours of the beach huts. The colours prompted me to take a panoramic of the scene. But it was only after I'd uploaded the photos that I saw the warm reflections of distant street lights in the glossy painted doors. This, for me, really makes the photo.
After around 5 o'clock, I set the camera to take long exposures of around 30 seconds. In the fading light, this enabled the camera to capture the full intensity of the sky colour, and produce soft, saturated skies (no photoshop needed!)
In the photo above, I loved the footprints in the snow and warm glow from the distant lights of Brighton Pier. The scene below was taken shortly afterwards, but facing west, towards Worthing - you can just make out Worthing Pier on the far horizon.
As the light became dimmer, I decided on one last panoramic of the coastal path behind the beach huts.
The photo below comprises two separate exposures, each 30 seconds long (and later stitched together in Photoshop). While I was making the first exposure, a runner came past at speed, carrying a torch. By happy accident, the length of the exposure captured the torchlight and "hid" the athlete, creating white and blue streaks (see below).
This is a technique known as "painting with light", which can be used intentionally for creative effect. I have photographed a bride making a heart shape with a sparkler at her wedding - something a bit different and fun, but it does require a tripod and a patient bride!
Well, even if I say it myself, I am rather pleased with these photos - it's great when you have a vision in mind and the weather obliges! I am thinking of entering one into a landscape competition, and would love to know your own favourites from this week's selection. So please do comment on my blog or facebook page and let me know...
Next week: some atmospheric black and white images of Shoreham's fishing pier - see you then!