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West Pier, Whitby

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Whitby West PierWhitby is a great place to visit for photography at any time of the year but its particularly interesting on poor weather days. In fact, most of my best images are made on poor weather days. Yet bizarrely its the time I see least photographers around - a plus point for me of course. ;)

Whitby West Pier
In this instance it was sunny at my home in Northallerton but as soon as I checked the forecast and that it was foggy at the coast there was noholding me back! I stopped off at Littlebeck first which is near Whitby to check out Falling Foss but the mist wasn't that thick in the trees. So after a short spell I headed on to Saltwick Bay before finally arriving in Whitby for an evening session.

I already knew the image I wanted as I've visited it many times previously and made a note to visit on such a day as today. This was a more complicated image to create however, as I wanted to simplify the image by using a long exposure and thus I needed to use my Lee Big Stopper (a 10 stop neutral density filter).

Always using my tried and tested formula of setting up an image I worked out that I needed to use my Zeiss Distagon 25mm lens and a 3 stop Lee Graduated Filter to balance the sky with the sea. Once I'd got my composition I finally added the Big Stopper (any time before would leave me with no image to see)!

So far so good you might think. However, I was being battered by a strong wind and sea-spray was constantly making its way onto the front of the lens, filters and anywhere else it could find. Ultimately, I thought this would end up with an image looking very blurry indeed.

I did persist though and initially took a 30 second exposure to find this was a little too dark. My second exposure came in at 137 seconds and looked great. Even better, when I got home and looked on my monitor the image was very sharp indeed (although the soft mist doesn't make it look so).

My lens choice was great I feel as the Zeiss has created a natural vignette around the image. The only post-processing done on this image is spot removal and a small amount of straightening due to the fact I wasn't using a tilt-shift lens. Both of these are new features in Lightroom 5 which are excellent (the spot removal feature I refer to is the 'Visual Spots' option which helps identify dust spots in an image - fabulous)!