The Attraction of Desolate Coasts

Is it normal to prefer desolate coasts to sun-soaked sandy beaches?  I think of the meeting place between land and sea as a place for contemplation and to witness the drama of the elements, rather than somewhere to lose a beach ball and buy an ice cream. Having said that, I once owned a beach ball and I like ice cream.

Fortunately for me, there is a magical coast just nine minutes’ drive from my front door. Seasalter is a scruffy patch of coast with otherworldly Faversham Creek at one end and trendy Whitstable at the other. There are a few houses, but mainly it’s a landscape of trailer parks, flat fields with sheep, electricity pylons, a sea wall, a sailing club… and the sea. Seasalter has become an inspiration for my sea studies. Every visit seems to reveal something new; yet there is seemingly little there, just the stony beach, some groynes and the sweeping sea.

I’ve posted a new gallery of images from Seasalter, inspirationally entitled ‘Seasalter’. I think of them as alternative postcards.

DSCF9695 1sThey are mostly composites of several images (all taken at the same time and in the same location). The technique is simple enough: open the shutter and wave the camera around in rhythm with the sea.  Expose for highlights. Don’t worry too much about what is and isn’t in frame… the story will tell itself. There’s a little CS6 work, but not much.

Many of the photographers I admire (Chris Friel, Valda Bailey et al) seem to be in the 5D MkIII gang and compose multiple exposures in camera. It’s a trick too far for my beloved Fuji, but I like to think my results capture something of the same atmosphere. I’d rather do this with charcoal and paper.

In other news the nice people who own Faversham’s Jittermugs cafe are displaying some of my images throughout August. It’s very pleasing to have images on show and I’ve had some positive feedback.

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  1. Anonymous August 29, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    Nice images Simon.

  2. Kristian May 31, 2016 at 8:42 am #

    Beautiful images, I admire both your art and artistic goals. Its wonderful how you show that photography can do much more than people imagine as an art form by conveying emotional impressions and emotions as well as images.

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