I go through periods where I feel compelled to return to either woodland, rolling landscape or the sea. I started to get the call for the minimalist views of the Norfolk coast and eventually I found myself planning a trip to Wells-Next-The-Sea.

There is something I’ve always liked about the minimalistic look of the Norfolk beaches, many are wide and long and most importantly often devoid of people. There is nothing I like more than feeling a connection with the landscape, just me, the beach and sea. Wells is a natural place to find that space, it’s an exceptionally long drive to get to it out on the East Coast and given it’s devoid of too many features, people don’t find it ‘interesting’ enough to visit. I couldn’t agree less.

I’ve found the area to be a constant source of inspiration and my chosen photograph of the month hopefully demonstrates why. I’ve selected Colour By Norfolk for what I believe is a majestic yet simple portrait of the area;

Colour By Norfolk

Colour By Norfolk

What Really Makes The Photograph Work For Me?

This photograph is all about the basics, no tricks, no deception. This is the real landscape. This is light on sand, fast moving cloud, and what you can’t feel is a pretty bitter wind. Simple beauty, frankly something I don’t do nearly enough of.

A run-down on why thins works to my eye:

  • The 16:9 crop naturally widens the feel of this scene. It begs for a crop like that. It’s not a stitched pano, it doesn’t need to be when taken with my 36MP D800E – a 16:9 provides a massive 30MP base file and I find myself often cropping and visualising in-camera what the final cut will look like. Seeing and shooting for different crops is a skill in itself but this one was a no-brainer.
  • The light on the sand bar was the thng that really pulled my eye but the way the blues in the stormy sky makes for a wonderfully naturally contrasting colour element. There is nothing like the natural colours of the planet when lit at their best.
  • The broken cloud and the way the light works on the lower edges of means there is plenty of interest in the upper part of the frame. I would pay for a sky like that anytime…
  • Although in truth I’d have liked the wind speed to have been lower and therefore that wonderful sky reflected in the water, I love the ‘honesty’ of the final result here. I did try a long exposure to smooth it out but it just didn’t work and something was lost. Sticking to the depiction of the scene as your eye sees it is sometimes the only way to go.
  • There is a seabird towards the middle of the frame in flight, at lower resolution it is something of a white fleck, but at full resolution actually provides a real point of interest. Sometimes very small details add so much to the final image and I believe that’s the case here.
  • All in all a very natural “as you see it” minimal photograph – I certainly keep coming back to look at it which must be an indication of a successful frame.
The Technical Setup
  • Taken with the Nikon D800E
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4
  • f/11, ISO100, 1/125, bright low sunlight, early morning
  • Tripod & Cable Release
  • Shot in 14bit RAW, manual white balance
  • Finished with Color Silver Efex Pro 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS6