Gerard Blair  

English Beach  by Gerard Blair

November 2020 - English Beach

About the Image(s)

Yorkshire is bleak - not just in terms of the weather but also the self-perception it's a hard life - if you're lucky - and if you ain't, it ain't no life at all

So in my image of this coastal town - clinging to the land - raised above the tide - I have desaturated by a blending with a B&W version to try to capture the austerity

(yes I know there is no beech - except off to the far left - but that's the irony - they gave it up for a sea wall)

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 - Canon lens 70-300mm - hand held from tea and sandwiches 1/60s f/13.0 ISO 100 - FL 200mm

This round’s discussion is now closed!
7 comments posted

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hi Gerard. Yes, it does look quite bleak. You captured and processed that feeling very well. The texture is scrumptious and your desaturation is brilliant. Too much color would take away from what you were trying to show. Compositionally, the S-curve of the seawall along with the downward diagonal flow from the top right to the left center is very pleasing. Detail is everywhere which gives my eyes lots to explore. I'm hesitant to suggest a subtle gradient darkening of the upper left and lower right corners. This might help direct your viewer to that diagonal flow so their eyes don't get lost in detail in those corner. Nice capture and expert follow through.   Posted: 11/02/2020 15:47:56

Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
He who hesitates ...
I like the idea of emphasizing the center with a vignette - and with that in mind I wondered if there was too much that was unremarkable on the right side. Tell me if this improves to your eye   Posted: 11/04/2020 14:36:35
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Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Yes, much improvement, Gerard. The right side looks fine to me. I'm looking forward to what others might say. (By the way, where is everyone?) A byproduct of your vignette is that the rocks at the lower right are no longer over exposed looking. Nice work!   Posted: 11/05/2020 16:24:22

Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Gerard, you've definitely captured the bleak mood through the processing you've brought to the image, as well as through the image itself. The little piece of civilization seems perched close enough to be threatened by the sea, while similarly loomed over by the hills behind. A narrow trapped existence between the two.

I like the suggestion of the vignette, and might go further by darkening the brightest few walls of the houses a bit to add to the gloominess. I would also cool things down a bit, or try the traditional teal and orange sort of color grading, to bring even more sense of bleakness. Here is a quick shot at adjusting the color temp.   Posted: 11/05/2020 18:53:47
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Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Gerard.
You have done a great job with texture and desaturation to portray bleakness. I like the idea of the vignette as well but would go a step further and desaturate just the green a bit more and crop the top of the image. The right side does not bother me but my eye is definitely drawn to the green, especially at the top of the image. I also found the white a bit too bright on the building walls.   Posted: 11/11/2020 17:29:45
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Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Very interesting composition Gerard. I like how my eye is drawn along the coast and around the curve of the wall/shore. I think the sharp details and the desaturated capture the starkness, bleakness, and atmosphere of hardship that the scene sets. The green, rolling hills actually look like a nice oasis to escape to compared to the narrow houses and winding streets of the town, yet it seems as if the green hills are separate and either inaccessible or simply untouched/unvisited. Great shot!   Posted: 11/19/2020 11:10:57

Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Hi Gerard - nice photo. You definitely did a great job of portraying the mood of the scene. The sharpness and DOF is very good. The composition, especially the seawall is very good and leads my eye throughout the image. I like the vignette to create more focus. One thing to possibly consider, with the tonal contrasts in this image and the various textures, perhaps experiment with converting this to a black and white photo. I believe this photo would be well suited for this. Well done!   Posted: 11/20/2020 07:27:30