Cayton Bay Low Pressure Weather Bomb


Cayton Bay


After a lovely few days camping in the wilds of East Yorkshire of Riding. What was a moderately mild but very windy day walking along Cayton Bay, it wasn’t until the mid afternoon as we sat upon some rocks and looked at the clouds and almost as we said it, there was a sudden drop in temperature. These are arcus clouds or shelf clouds, produce a rush of cold air from the  down draft and it spreads across the land, pushing the warmer air up into the storm clouds. Although we did not have a thunderstorm, we did have a downpour that was short-lived. The temperature dropped from about 18 to 13’C. Hence the weather bomb bit in the title. It may be also a roll cloud. Hard to decide which one it is so I have plumped for shelf.

Cayton Bay

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Liddle Stack Seaham


Blast Beach Seaham

Liddle Stack on the Durham Heritage Coast near Seaham on Blast Beach before reaching Chourdon Point. This view looking down from the top of the cliffs opposite to what was the original site for Dawdon Colliery and is now an industrial estate. The long exposure gives the stack a strong focal point following the line of the sea-shore. Taken just over an hour after sunrise.

I used an .9ND hard grad filter and big stopper and exposed for 60 seconds; Blast Beach Seaham exposed for 240 seconds and the Seaham Sunrise exposed for 60 seconds. All at f11 and ISO 100 on a canon 6D using 17-40mm f4.0 L USM  lens at 17mm.

My Findings on the full frame upgrade

Earlier this year I upgraded my 550D crop frame to a 6D full frame and I am enjoying the experience very much, rethinking a little on composition. However, applying the techniques I have worked with over the past 6 years to the full frame is putting forth its challenges.

What I am finding a little different is the transition of the crop frame timings to the full frame timings using the big stopper. I seem to be exposing longer, maybe it is the added vignetting from the wide-angle lens. Also I have no UV glass in front of the lens anymore as that stuffed the wide-angle well and truly by adding corners in, the foundation kit holder is set with only 2 positions, and the landscape circular polarizer adaptor is still on the front.

I am not happy with the performance of the polarizer since the upgrade to full frame. It does not work as well on the wide angles by adding a small pool of light into the middle of the picture and a dark vignetting around the edges. The obvious answer is here is to pull the image in a little, considering the crop frame at its widest using this lens is about 28mm, with little vignetting on the polarizer. The crop had its advantages with buildings not having any converging verticals. This will be a challenge with the full frame. I have yet to experiment with architecture / buildings as such with the 6D.

I welcome any thoughts/comment regarding the polarizer and vignetting for the wide-angle.

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Blast Beach Seaham



A view of Blast Beach looking along the shoreline as the tide was coming in, towards Liddle Stack and Chourdon Point a little way beyond it.

The tyre was already there, the van size continental, with good tread. Maybe somebody left it as a play item, although some people don’t respect their surroundings; it is highly likely it has been fly tipped. This how we found the beach, that morning, my Dad offered to move the tyre, I said leave it adds a little interest to the image. The scene almost untouched apart from our footsteps in the sand. The sun was well up and a cloudless sky, a rare thing for me to photograph, the sunrise was important, a marriage of good weather and timing. I was up at 0320hrs, and we got to our destination roughly 10 minutes before hand at 0440hrs. This was taken at around 0530hrs. It is rare for me to be up at this time. It was fantastic to have nobody about until around  6am when we got back up to the top of the cliffs. A lovely lady out for her morning walk telling us about the Chemical Beach, after asking her if she knew of the wheels that lived on the beach. She thought we meant the old winding wheel from the pit which is located near the harbour. Now I know there are some wheels that stick out during low tide, and I was hoping to capture these, however it was not to be for me that day. Plenty time to come back, at low tide at a sunset maybe. They are to be found on Chemical Beach. It is all in the tagging I think, which then throws the confusion into the wind.

During my research, it seems to me that everybody calls this part of the coast as Chemical Beach, however looking at the maps this is Blast Beach. Chemical Beach starts further down beyond Chourdan Point at Nose’s Point.


Seaham Sunrise


Blast Beach Seaham

As I have mentioned before, I grew up just outside of Durham in village called Bearpark. My uncle Alan who lived in the village worked in the local pit until it closed in 1985, after the miners strike that began in 1984 under the Thatcher Government. This strike and that government decimated the coal industry through out the UK, and it hit hard the North-East community. My uncle went on to work at Dawdon Colliery just south of Seaham at a place called Hawthorn, and that pit closed in 1991, and it was one of the last to hang up its winding gear in the region.

Since the pit has closed, this part of the Durham coast lime has become a heritage site for wildlife and flowers. This part of the coast was once black with coal. After they filmed Alien 3 here, the beach was cleaned up. It has been a beautiful transformation, and tourism in the region is gaining a good grounding.

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A Sense of Place

Landscape Photography

Snake Pass Derbyshire Landscapes


It was while I was out with my photographer friend Darren, we had walked from Fairholmes cafe, along the Derwent and Howden Reservoirs up to Alport Castles, and in the middle of it all we got to this point somewhere between Alport Castles and Crook Hill, observing the crepuscular clouds, the rays of sun light bursting through into the valley below. We discussed what sells, and decided it was to do with a sense of place. A place where you would recognise and associate with immediately.

I hope to look a little further beyond the place. I sometimes sit and observe my surroundings before I take the camera out of my bag, or I will get the camera out and think maybe or maybe not. It is my interpretation above all. Maybe somebody will understand the photograph, maybe they don’t or just like it for what it is

This scene is about being about 300 or so metres up, looking out and down to the Snake Pass; the road that links Sheffield to Manchester running east to west. Manchester a huge conurbation in comparison to Sheffield. The journey along the Snake can be an extreme one, for the pace of the road can be fast and slow, the meandering stretches, sharp corners and then the drop into Glossop.

Running parallel to the road is the River Ashop, glistening in the sun shine. The river takes you to Ladybower Reservoir, the Ashopton Viaduct stretches over part of the reservoir. I know where we are at this point. I still wonder what the ridge is and where Kinder Scout is relative to the scene. I felt I could touch the sun rays; may be I did as the clouds passed over above.

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The Crest of Crook Hill

Landscape Photography

Crook Hill Peak District

A perspective of Crook Hill from down below. I saw a crest of a wave from this vantage point.The rocky outcrop gives that curl before it breaks. The cumulus clouds passing over head with lovely definition that fair weather cloud gives. It was the golden hour, about 40 minutes before sunset.

In this field we discovered a bird that I had never heard its song before. After a bit of research on my smart phone, it turned out to be lapwings with their unusual whooping whistle mating call, flying up about 20 feet and swooping back down to the ground with its black and white feathers, almost like an oyster catcher, minus the orange beak. We could hear skylarks, curlews and big bumblebees like flying drones. The temperature was up at 12 – 15ºC last Saturday, when only a few days earlier it had been down to 5ºC; a little low for us Brits this time of year. Finally the sights and sounds of spring had arisen. We saw plenty of new lambs feed from the ewes and were careful not to scare them.

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