Once again the promise of nice weather at the weekend and the curious discovery of having nothing planned was all the impetus I needed for a last-minute trip to the beautiful town of Southwold on the Suffolk coast. This weekend was planned as a peaceful rest for a couple of days, and since my girlfriend would be coming with me a full on photo weekend was out of the question, however the didn’t stop me from bringing along my retro styled Fuji X100…
Many photographers visit Southwold and it’s easy to see why – the seaside town seems to have neatly parked itself in a little time warp and has none of the garishness that spoils so many seaside resorts.
With a town that’s changed so little over time, there are many iconic views and scenes that have been shot many times. So as we walked around the town – trying not to sample too much of the excellent Adnam’s Ale – I set myself a challenge to record as many of these iconic views as possible in the shortest possible time.
A good place to start was to join the photographers and day trippers taking pictures of the brightly coloured beach huts that stretch along the shoreline. Fortunately I had the perfect day for the this shot with full sunshine illuminating the brightly coloured beach huts and a brilliant blue sky as a backdrop. Whilst taking the picture at the top of this post I saw this couple taking shots along the row of huts, and asked if they’d pose for me since I thought the photographers were perhaps more iconic that the image they were capturing.
Another shot I was desperately keen to do was inside the light house. Although this is pattern shot which has been done many times over the years, the one thing that’s always struck me, is how most photographers have been lazy and simply let the camera do it’s thing. In most cases this works well with the camera automatically selecting a good exposure and having an easy target for the auto-focus, however the white balance is often neglected leaving images which are a good record but miss the opportunity to say more. The lighthouse is mainly lit by daylight, however there is a tungsten light at the top of the lighthouse which causes the walls get a yellow cast, and although there’s nothing wrong with that shot I think it fails to convey the coolness of the building. So for my shot I set the white balance for tungsten light, this resulted in the top of the lighthouse being rendered as white fading down in blue as the cooler natural daylight took over which for me gave a much more pleasant relaxing image.
While I was looking at the lighthouse image above I noted the very simple tones, and though this made a good pair with the following image of some of those fantastic beach huts. Here I’ve used a posterize treatment to simplify the image to just 6 colours. I’m now quite tempted to continue this theme to see if I can find more images with similar tones to make a set.
Some years ago my brother made a comment that “you don’t really take holiday snaps“, but despite that, here are some more of my “holiday snaps” from Southwold for you to enjoy.
If you’d like prints of any of these images, or a license to use them please let me know (Contact).