30 Nov 2014

Northumberland Rocks

I spent last week running a landscape photography workshop in Northumberland, one of my favourite counties in the UK. We worked extensively along the coast from our base in Bamburgh, and also travelled a little inland to Hadrian's Wall. As usual I included the highly photogenic riverside in Gateshead and Newcastle in this workshop.

Our base at Bamburgh was ideal as it allowed us to keep a careful eye on the state of the tide

Bamburgh was one of many castles we photographed during the week

If you wish to make use of some specific coastal features, like the rock ledge shown above, you have to make sure you're there when the tide is in just the right position! Knowledge of the location is critical when working along the coast.

For details such as these rock patterns overcast light tends to be best. The last thing you want for this type of subject is harsh contrasty light. For the three images above I used a Canon EF24-70mm f2,8L II lens. Each shot was stopped down to f22 for maximum depth of field due to the uneven nature of the rock.

Lindisfarne Castle photographed in midday light using  a10-stop ND filter to extend the exposure time and blur the water movement

A slightly different view of Lindisfarne Castle taken at sunrise. The distinctive shape of this castle should make it instantly recognisable to anybody who has been there.

The beautiful Budle Bay taken just after sunrise at low tide

Dunstanburgh Castle at sunset

One of the best things about Northumberland is the variety of subject matter on offer in a relatively small area. During the winter months it also tends to be pretty quiet. If you're lucky with the weather the lighting can be spectacular at this time of the year.

The bridges over the River Tyne after sunset

We eventually managed to capture a decent reflection of Alnwick Castle in the River Aln

We spent one evening at Sycamore Gap capturing star trails. This was a 45 minute exposure at 100 ISO and f5.6. Unfortunately no Northern Lights on this occasion!

My Northumberland workshop is already fully booked for next year, but please feel free to register your interest in future workshops using this link.

I will now be running three workshops in my home county of Dorset. After that I will be working on my newsletter, which will be sent out before Christmas to all those who have subscribed to it.

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