I was planning to take a shot of wave rippled sand directly beneath my feet on the beach at Formby Point for this week’s photo challenge, but I could hardly ignore hazy sun reflected on the sea, a distant, misty headland and bathers preparing to retreat from the approaching tide. So they sneaked in too!
Dutifully following the rule of thirds when cropping, I placed the horizon on the top third to emphasis the ‘beneath your feet’ part. The shot was more textural than colourful – the sky hazy with cloud, the sand underexposed and moody – so after a bit of experimentation I bit the bullet and converted it to black and white.
Below you’ll find the original shot for comparison, straight from my iPhone except the resolution has been reduced for the web. The rule of thirds doesn’t come instinctively to me. There’s something about the original that feels truer to the peculiarly down-to-earth beauty of this area of the coast (historically part of Lancashire, my home country). It’s the British seaside stripped back to sand, sky and sea.
Formby Point is a treasure trove for nature lovers. Linger a while and you’ll see red squirrels, wild rabbits, birds, and an array of wild flowers, grasses and berries able to withstand sandy soil and sea winds, such as evening primrose, wild asparagus, blackberries and jewel-like erodiums.
You’ll need to clamber over sand dunes to reach the beach from the National Trust car park. It is not particularly well sign posted and woefully inadequate for the numbers hoping to visit on a fine summer day, so visit early or late, walk in from the town, or be willing to queue!
If you have a spare moment, let me know which version you prefer.