David Speight Photography

The Northumberland Coast

The Northumberland Coast

Northumberland, the most northerly and least populated County in England, is a land of great historical importance. Stretching from the Scottish borders to Hadrians Wall, and encompassing not one, but two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Northumberland has some of the most spectacular unspoiled coastline, (39 miles in total) to be found anywhere in the UK. The area has seen a turbulent past, which is evidenced by the numerous castles along the coastline and its boundaries and territories have changed ownership between England and Scotland on several occasions throughout history. With its vast expanses of dune-fringed beaches and its many dramatic castles providing the perfect backdrop, Northumberland is somewhat of a mecca to landscape photographers and it’s difficult not to be creatively inspired by both the sheer beauty and the historical significance of the area. Over three days, The Northumberland Coastline and Castles Photography Workshop will concentrate on three principle locations, amongst others.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle, set on a remote headland between the villages of Craster and Embleton, is possibly one of the most photogenic and photographed locations in the U.K, and for good reason. With its black volcanic ‘Dolerite’ boulders, known locally as ‘The Dunstanburgh Marbles’ there’s no shortage of foreground subject to incorporate into our images on the Embleton side of the castle, at St Margarets Cove. The views from the south of Dunstanburgh, on the Craster side are no less spectacular and we’ll be heading onto a rocky platform that gives spectacular views of the ruins at sunset

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh is the historic capital of Northumberland and is dominated by one of the most spectacular castles in the Country. It really is impossible not to be impressed by its sheer size and stature. We will be concentrating our efforts on composing images around the soft Marram Grass covered sand dunes that fringe Bamburgh beach. We’ll also look to use the volcanic rock platform at the northern end of the beach which acts as a perfect lead in to the dominant presence of the castle on the distant horizon.

Holy Island

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is another of Northumberlands wondrous and fascinating places. It has a natural beauty that is unrivalled and an amazing and varied history. We’ll be concentrating on the stunning Castle of Lindisfarne and also the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory, which were the site of the first recorded Viking attack on England. Again there are stunning views to Lindisfarne Castle with no shortage of subjects to inject interest into our compositions. The castle itself sits on a granite platform, fringed by dark, lichen covered volcanic rock formations. Dotted around the shores are antiquated fishing boats and fishermen’s huts. The workshop has been timed to take advantage of the early morning light as the island can only be reached via a causeway which floods twice a day.

Other areas we may photograph will include Embleton, Beadnell, Howick and Budle Bay

Walking is easy along good flat paths. The Workshop will consist of three full days of on location, landscape photography tuition photographing both sunsets and sunrises. On booking you will receive a simple questionnaire to fill out which helps me to tailor the day exactly to your requirements. A basic day includes tuition on the following subjects; Best practice camera set-up, shooting manual and Raw Format and the reasons why, creative uses of both shutter speed and apertures, explanations of exposure, metering, bracketing e.t.c, manual focusing for maximum depth of field (Also known as Hyperfocal focusing) The use of filters, both exposure balancing (Neutral Density Graduated) and creative effects (Polarisers, Straight Neutral Density) This leaves the best part of the day free to discuss the broader and more subjective topic of composition. What makes a good image? Elements to look for when composing images, The rules of composition, when to follow them and instances/examples of when to break them, use of depth, scale, distance, perspective and shoot and location planning around seasonal and differing lighting conditions. The aim is for you to be able to go away and confidently plan the best times of year to photograph your own set of locations.

I also go through a typical Photoshop workflow, demonstrating the adjustments used from Rawfile through to outputting images for web and print. This also covers some alternatives to using Neutral Density Graduated Filters, in the form of Exposure Blending incorporating alpha channels / luminosity selections and layer masks.

  • 11th - 13th September 2020 - Available

  • £495 / £95.00

    • Three Days Tuition

    • Loan of filters/tripod if necessary

    • Accommodation

    • Travel/personal/equipment insurance

    • Transport to Northumberland (I can pick people up en route if required)

  • Low - Average - No long walks

  • Three full days - Dawn - dusk with breaks for food/refreshments

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