Untitled (Southbourne Groyne)

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I’m going to let you into a secret; the photo on the One-to-one Workshops page is a set-up job. That’s me and a good friend of mine stood on the beach between Southbourne and Hengistbury Head; her and another mate were helping me out to get a photo depicting a workshop which I could use for this website.

The pose is genuine; I was explaining all about long exposure photography. It had been pouring with rain only half an hour earlier and we’d all umm’d and ah’d about whether to come out or leave it for another day, but sometimes with photography I get a “feeling” and I’ve learned to trust it. It’s like Danny out of The Shining only with less deadly consequences.

Anyway, having filled my friend in on all the excitement of long exposure photography and began packing up, the sky exploded. Problem is we had to leave, which meant that I had one opportunity and one opportunity only to grab this shot. Not generally a big problem until the light conditions call for an exposure of longer than 30 seconds, by which stage your camera no longer gives you an accurate meter reading, demanding for somewhat of a medley of experience, mathematics, trial and error, and on this occasion, luck. Too long an exposure and you’ll blow the highlights and lose detail in the photograph; too short an exposure and the quality suffers.

So one chance to take the shot and this is the result. Only problem is I have no idea what to call it. I hate naming photographs; they say a photo speaks a thousand words, so why then, having taken a decent one, would you go and have to give it a name? Just seems to defeat the object to me.

Therefore, I proudly present…‘Untitled’!

Part of the Hengistbury Head, Mudeford and Barton collection.

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