As we creep towards summer vibrant green is appearing on hedgerows and treetops and the cherry blossom is scattering as the world clears it’s lungs with the final blasts of cool winter wind. As the days grow longer, the nights are becoming so short that there is barely an hour of complete darkness at night. So it was for that reason that we had to drag ourselves from bed at two in the morning to reach the beaches of Northumberland before the sun arose.
It was comfortably warm as my photographic accomplice Kim and I climbed into the car, a warmth that makes early rises all the more bearable. An hour and a half drive North East and we arrived at Bamburgh. The castle sat below heavy clouds in the blue pre-dawn, the waves licked the shore as we positioned ourselves at the far end of the empty beach, the prime location for shots of the castle, the sea, the sunrise.
As the golden hour approached, more photographers laden with camera bags and tripods joined us at what is a popular photography location and by the time the sun had risen above the horizon there were over a dozen of us eagerly squeezing shutter releases. Not a word passed between us. Knowing nods and unspoken etiquette as each person concentrated on the amber light which unfolded from behind a bank of cloud sat low over the water. The sound of the green waves crashing onto the now golden sand drowned out electronic clicks and shutter snaps and each of us was absorbed into our own little worlds attempting to balance shutter speeds with the desired amount of motion in the water and apertures with depth of field.
For an hour we all stood transfixed on the sky, as the sun rose and the sky gradually cycled through a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, yellows and blues.
It was the beginning of another week of travel across the North East looking for interesting landscapes bathed in the all to rare glimpses of sunlight. Our Journey would take us once again to Hadrian’s Wall, to Blyth, Hartlepool, a quick stop at Wrekenton to photograph the iconic Angel of the North and an evening on Newcastle Quayside to photograph the Sage and numerous bridges. The weather was ideal, interspersed with occasional rain which kept our images constantly changing from huge blue skies filled with sunshine to dark brooding vistas of dramatic storm clouds.
The week ended with a trip with my wife Suzanna, who has recently become interested in photography, to photograph fresh green gardens and spring flowers in Northumberland.