Empty Beach, Shoreham-by-Sea

Empty Beach, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex – May 2021

“I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky…”

Sorry, I thought I would start with a bit of John Masefield. 🙂

This photo is only a couple of weeks old, but the now weather has shifted from “sort-of-summer” to “definitely summer”. So it is long gone (although it isn’t).

When I lived here 40 years ago, I was always disappointed that the sea looked green rather than the blue you see in films. And I wished the shingle was sand. But now, I’m glad that it isn’t: the green is rather pleasing and the waves hiss when they strike the pebbles!

View From Gurney Drive, Penang

View of Straits Quay from Gurney Drive, Penang – January 2016

Years ago, I lived in Penang. On a Wednesday afternoon after work, I used to walk from Island Plaza into George Town – where I would usually have my dinner. At the time, I believed that this was a fair way, but looking back, I can see it was only a few miles. I used to love this view across the bay to Straites Quay and on this occasion, I think the clouds look quite impressive. On other occasions, there were huge storm clouds which warned of bad weather ahead.

Straits Quay, Northam Beach, Penang – August 2013

I know that this view has gone now – the beach has been drained and the land reclaimed for building. One day, I hope to see what it is like now.

Evening Sky, Horsham

Evening Sky, Horsham, West Sussex August 2020

Time passes. This photo is from a test roll I did on a (new to me) camera. I think it was mid-evening when I took it and as you can see, the Sun is setting. As I’m writing this, it is a similar time of day – but it is completely dark outside (and has been for a couple of hours). I am almost 50 years old, I know the science, but the seasons still amaze me.

I love the delicate range of colours and the whispy white clouds. So it is a “shapes” photo rather than a “things” photo.

I remember as I was walking around the park, I was thinking, that if we could get everything back to normal by the end of the year – then all the inconvienience would have been worth it. But – things aren’t back to normal!

Thanksgiving, Shoreham Beach

Swimmers, Shoreham Beach November 2020

I was going to write about life on the beach – but then I noticed the date – and decided that I would write about Thanksgiving instead.

In the UK we tend to slowly take on things from the US – liablity lawyers, Adam Sandler – all the good stuff. But I do think we should get the British Museum to borrow Thanksgiving from the US and forget to return it – or take molds from it so we can cast our own.

I think in the UK we do lots of things well, but if we had this holiday, it would help us to recognise them too and then maybe when New Year’s Day comes around we wouldn’t feel quite so down.

In a moment I will go for a late night walk and think about things I should be grateful for – what would you choose?

Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach

View of the Sea, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex – Friday, 23rd October 2020

Although the morning started with glorious blue skies, by the time I got the beach it was clouding over. Looking along the beach towards Worthing, there were menacing rain clouds and a steady breeze. And there were also lots of kite surfers out, racing back and forth on the waves. I think I was on the beach for an hour or so, but you can see how the light chnaged in that time. And then the light went. So I had to withdraw to my car 🙂

Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex – Friday, 23rd October 2020

One of the kite surfers had seen me taking photos – so here some are! I had my small camera with me, so mostly fairly scenic pictures. Next time I come, I will bring a bigger camera and get a few more details!

Kite Surfers in the Shallows – Friday, 23rd October 2020
Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex – Friday, 23rd October 2020

My father has an expression,”If you don’t play the game, you can’t win!”. And I think it applies to this situation quite well: I don’t really have the right camera for this – but I gave it a go.

I took these photos with a Sony RX-100, a very compact camera with a 1″ sensor because I had originally only intended to go for a walk with my wife. Somethings I think it did well: the exposures look fine and I was able to zoom in and out ok. But really for beach photography, you need more reach to isolate the subjects better – which is why these photos are a little “scenic”. The other thing I found myself wanting was a viewfinder, because the screen wasn’t always easy to see. And that was it. I liked that the lens was fixed, because the last place you want to change lenses is on a beach (I am still working on a DSLR which has a stubornly dirty sensor). And the camera was pretty responsive for a “casual” kind of camera.

Yachts, Shoreham Beach

Yachts, Shoreham Beach September 2020

After 6 months of staying at home, I have started exploring further afield. In this case, about 20 miles away – so not that far! I used to live in Shoreham-by-Sea 40 years ago and whenever I go back I am reminded of what it was like as a child. The church at the end of my road, remains pretty much as I remember it, but the whole place looks neater than I remember it, perhaps everywhere was a bit scruffier in the 1970s.

The weather in the morning has turned much cooler in the morning, so I can definitely tell that Autumn is coming. But for now the outdoor cafes are open, people are still going for morning swims in the sea, and as you can see, people are sailing!

Double Rainbow, West Sussex

Rainbow in the Park, West Sussex – June 2020

People tend to think of landscape photography as a fairly leisurely persuit, but in my experience it is anything but. I took these two pictures within a few minutes of each other – and then the light went!

Two Shadows, West Sussex – June 2020

If you are curious, I took these on my phone, which I bring on my daily walk. Moments after I took the rainbow picture it rained quite heavily, which made me glad that my phone is water resistant. To my eye, these photos are quite close to how it looked, the Sun was very low in the sky, casting long, dark shadows.

Mountains in Yunnan

Dali, Yunnan, China 2015

This is another photo from my trip to Yunnan in 2015. Yes, I have this as my banner, but thought I would write about it.

The path the photo was taken from led to a large lake. In the foreground, you can see paddies which were in cultivation. In the background, you can the mountains which surround Dali, casting shadows, which when mixed with a little dust make interesting patterns of light.

This all came about because we could see the lake and naively believed “it couldn’t be that far away”. Well, it could. It could be a good 2 1/2 hour walk, with the sun slowly setting behind us as we arrived. I remember thinking, “It’s a bit cold now”. And then it was night…..

Technical info. This photo is a composite of 3 pictures from the X100. It looks like a fairly faithful rendering of the view from the road. Perhaps next year, my New Year’s Resolution will be to carry a studio tripod with me (like one of those people who say: My sharpest lens is a tripod). Might not make it to make the next lot of resolutions!

View from the Shinkansen, Japan

Mt Fuji, Japan 2018

This is just an a photograph of Mt. Fuji from the shinkansen going to Kyoto from Tokyo. On the train, you catch a glinpse of it quite early and the train takes you closer and closer – until – you have this view. If you fly into or out of Narita airport, you also get a good view (I might post that view at some point). Looking at photographs on line, you can see that Mt. Fuji has a little cloud for a hat. It is bigger than it looks and commands its landscape, silently challenging.

I believe it is possible to climb Mt. Fuji at certain times of the year – and right now – I would really like to go there and give it a try.