Stormy Northumberland

January 31, 2019

I spent the weekend in Northumberland, it's been a few years since I last visited and I wanted to explore some locations that i didn't feel I had go the best out of on my previous visit. Costal Northumberland is beautiful, long sandy beaches, dunes and castles perched above the sea. Two of these were on my list, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh, the first a gaunt ruin the second virtually intact and still very much a home, if an expensive one.

During my previous visit to Dunstanburgh I had tried photographing it from the south but had not been very pleased with the results; I'd then discovered that from the north it can appear a very striking prospect. With the winter sun due to rise pretty much behind the castle I planned to camp on the beach, liking the idea of falling asleep listening to the sounds of the waves using up and down the sand. A forecast for strong winds through the night drove me from the top of a dune to a hollow at its base, a decision I was thankful for as later tucked up in my sleeping bag my shelter was battered by strong gusts even in the lee of the dune.

Morning brought clear skies, although a bank of cloud was fast approaching from the east. The wind was whipping up the sea into a series of rolling waves which passed under the castle to crash onto the beach. Despite all this kinetic energy my favourite image from the shoot was a long exposure smoothing out the sea but accentuating some movement in the clouds and the colours of the sunrise reflected off the retreating water of the waves falling onto the sand.

Later I went north to Bamburgh, cloud coated the sky and the wind picked up. I was initially sceptical about the conditions but notices the wind was picking up streamers of sand which then danced over the beach towards the castle. I was able to combine this fain leading line with a stronger feature of outcropping rock in an image I was really pleased with.

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