Seawall at Burnham
The southern end of the seawall at Burnham-On-Sea; 6 Mar 2015.

Burnham-On-Sea is on the coast of Somerset, where the Somerset Levels run down – exceedingly gently! – into the sea.  I emphasise gently because the land here is very flat, the rivers are very slow and muddy – and were it not for sea defences like this, the incoming tides would roll on into the interior of Somerset, as indeed they used to in the not too distant past.

Springlike weather being forecast, we drove down to Burnham on Friday, for a bracing walk along the seaside promenade, a good pub lunch and a (very) little shopping.  The walk southwards down to the end of the town’s promenade reveals the little estuary of the River Brue, which flows down to the sea here from the heart of the Levels.  Reaching the end of the prom and leaving my wife sheltering behind a wall from the still decidedly cool southerly, I walked down to the rough beach and was faced with this view.

On the right is the impressive seawall, which is curved to throw a lot of the waves’ energy back out to sea, and which is about 10 ft. high – tho it seems rather higher than that when you’re standing there below it.  To the left of the wall’s base is a concrete walkway on which I’m standing, and left of that again the beach can just be seen (and which is more obvious in the larger view of the image).

As soon as I saw this scene and thought of the wide angle zoom I’d brought for the day’s photography, black and white was an obvious choice.  And to make things more dynamic I tilted the camera to the right, so that the horizon, which was parallel to the cloud bases over on the left, tilted upwards – while the towering seawall was toppling back over towards the right.

Then, back home, on this computer, I carried out my usual initial processing in Capture NX2 (Levels & Curves, sharpening; but no cropping in this instance), and also significantly darkened the pale blue sky, so that it would assume a darker tone when converted into black and white.  This changing of an image’s colours prior to converting the image to mono is something I sometimes find useful – I recommend this technique to you!

I thought about cropping the shot to make the prominent pale edge to the top of the wall exit the frame through the upper right corner, but decided to stick with the full frame version.   And then, as always, conversion into black and white, and further processing, in the magical and fairy tale realms of Silver Efex Pro 2.

And the result?  Well, everyday reality it certainly ain’t, but the reality that I’d seen in my mind as I stood below that towering wall –  it is!  I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

D700 with 16-35 Nikkor at 16mm; 200 ISO; camera tilted; Capture NX2Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. Malin H says:

    Oh I like this one, Adrian. Heavy… and fantastic!
    And I’m glad you decided to stick with the full frame!


  2. Sallyann says:

    I’m reminded of a certain pebble beach from my childhood, the waves powering inwards only to be rolled upwards on the sea wall defences and be flicked away in a seaward direction. 😀


  3. karijeppesen says:

    …oh, Adrian…yes, yes, yes… (…smiling to you…)


  4. paula graham says:

    Superbly thought out, processed and produced..I know the place , but have never seen it like this. Great Stuff, I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bananabatman says:

    Fire was the first thought to come to me Adrian. Somehow, this looks like flames licking over the top of the concrete. To get that out of a ‘pale blue sky’ shows how your imagination is so very far ahead of mine. Maybe this whole image is of some kind of oversize cooker. Perhaps the cold wind made you wish for a warming fire.

    I’m rambling. The result is a spectacular image reflecting the way you see the world. Dave

    Liked by 2 people

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Dave, you’re not rambling, my friend, you’re giving of your thoughts – and they’re always good to hear! And I can see what you mean about flames and I love your allusion to an oversize cooker – such thoughts are the spice (and maybe the heat too) of Life! I’m glad you like the shot – thank you! Adrian


This blog has two pleasures for me - creating the images and hearing from you - so get your thoughts out to the world!

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