A Northumberland Photography experience that I’ll never forget. It all started on the 13th January 2022 after two years of Covid. It was something to get excited about. I’m a strong believer in always learning new skills or improving yourself.

Bamburgh Castle April

Whether this applies to my day job as a Creative Director at Think, or with my photography you should always push yourself or take opportunities to learn.

Originally planned by Teamwork Photo for October 2020, this wonderful email landed in my inbox. The opportunity to book on their Northumberland Coast Photography Experience with Joe Cornish for the weekend of 18th to the 20th November. Which also happened to be my birthday weekend.

Thankfully I have a wonderful wife and kids and they suggested I did booked this for my birthday. So off I went and booked on the photography course with arguably one if the UK’s best landscape photographers and ambassadors of the art.

I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to learn from guidance of Joe, along with specialist support from Teamwork Photo and Phase One.

Now, at this point I had never been to the North East, or Northumberland – I think the only county in the UK I hadn’t visited. The next serendipitous thing happened. We stumbled across Kate Humble’s Coastal Britain on the 14th January 2022, where she happened to be walking a 16 mile stretch of the Northumberland coast taking in Falmouth, Cullernose Point, Craster, Dunstanburgh Castle, finishing at Newton Point.

The next thing we were doing was booking a family holiday to Northumberland – doubling up as a ‘getting to know the area’ for my November trip later in the year.

Known for it’s Anglo Saxon heritage from following the footsteps of Uhtred in Netflix’s The Last Kingdom, and how the Northumberland coastline offers a variety of landscape photography opportunities. This ranges from sand dunes and tidal patterns, to boulders and castle ruins. This TV show really whetted my appetite and I couldn’t wait to get there. I even managed to get some images of Lindisfarne Castle, seals and of jewel in the crown, Bamburgh Castle.

Pod of dolphins

A pod of dolphins swam upto the boat we were on

Atlantic Grey Seals

The famous Farne Island Atlantic grey seals

Lindisfarne Castle, a 16th-century castle located on Holy Island.

Lindisfarne Castle, a 16th-century castle located on Holy Island.

Budle Point and Bay at Sunset.
A limited edition premium collection print.

The above image represents the best of the endeavours, featuring two images stitched together. You can just make out Lindisfarne Castle in the distance

Northumberland Photography
Friday – Day one

I arrived Thursday afternoon hoping to catch a sunset and get more used to my new Sony A7r IV before settling in at the Victoria Hotel in Bamburgh. Typically for a November it was raining so that put paid to that. Not long after, Al Simmons of Teamwork Photo arrive, followed by Paul Rieffer and Joe.

The morning was a wash out too, so we all waited for the rest of the guests to arrive before having a introduction chat, hoping the rain would subside before we head out to Budle Point where by some miracle the sun came out and we were met with some stunning conditions over looking the bay and Lindisfarne Island in the distance.

We had a couple of hours back at the hotel before our evening meal where Al and Joe did an introductory to Capture One. Having only played with this before this trip, it was amazing to learn some tips for session set up from Al. Then I watched as Joe gave some tips on his post production, and some techniques he implements.

Northumberland Photography
Saturday – Day two

Saturday came with much hope for better weather, but it wasn’t to be. Fortunately Joe and the team had a back up plan which involved visiting open to the public locations such as Cullernose Point, the rock formations below the Bathing House near Horwich Sands. The morning finished with lunch in Crastor, the finishing off hoping for a sunset at Dunstanburgh Castle.

By this point the wind had picked up so much if was impossible to get a longer exposure, unless you were working with a Medium Format Phase One XT camera, and using the in camera frame averaging feature. I watched with anticipation as Paul set up and took one image – shooting around 500 frames (one every 1/3 second) before the digital back of the XT worked it’s magic.

Unbelievably, despite the conditions, his image was pin sharp and beautiful. The software has removed any image that hadn’t been captured on the focal point, then merged them together to create smoothed our waters and clouds. It really is a stunning piece of equipment.

Back at the hotel we chose our favourite image and Joe did a critique and suggested some Capture One processing techniques.

View of the Bathing House from Cullernose Point

View of the Bathing House from Cullernose Point

Cullernose Point

Cullernose Point

The rock formations below the Bathing House near Horwich Sands

The rock formations below the Bathing House near Horwich Sands

Northumberland

Composing at Budle Point

Northumberland

This conspicuous cross-bedding was formed when sand was laid down in channels, hence its name, channel sandstone.

Northumberland Photography
Sunday – Day three

Sunday morning finally brought some incredible conditions. On the Bamburgh Beach by sunsrise, we were met with some amazing light as the sun broke through the clouds.

Final thoughts

Overall it was a brilliant weekend – despite the weather. And even though I was one of 3 guests not using medium format, a did learn how far I can push my 35mm Sony. Even to the point I am considering the Cambo Actus G to work with my Sony, so I can get pin sharp images through the focal plane.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle

Sunrise over Bamburgh

Sunrise over Bamburgh

Bamburgh at Dawn.
A limited edition premium collection print.

 

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