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 NX2; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset.