New Horizons - Photography | Living North

New Horizons - Photography


Whitby Abbey By Night © Steve Melvin
Setting an alarm for 4am, packing up your camera and trekking down to the coast in the name of stunning photography takes a lot of dedication, but for York-based photography group BlackDogWhiteWall, the all-hours timetable is part of the fun

'Often the most attractive and dramatic light for landscape photography, particularly at the coast, is just before sunrise and around sunset,' explains founding member Steve Melvin. 'Photographers often refer to each of these as the "golden hour";  we can often be found out and about at the extremes of the day, getting up at stupid o'clock and staying out late. It is also helpful to have some clouds around; not too many to be overcast and block the sun, but enough to be lit up from below by the rising or setting sun.  This is what gives the dramatic reds, oranges and yellows that can really make a landscape image. Saltwick Bay is a perfect location for this, as when the tide is out, there is a natural rock shelf that is left with a large expanse of still standing water when the tide recedes, acting as an enormous mirror to reflect the sky.  Throw in a dramatic shipwreck and the striking profile Black Nab, and you've got a perfect seascape location.'

BlackDogWhiteWall came about when its founding members held something of a monopoly over York City Council's photography classes; they enjoyed the sessions so much that they repeatedly booked up all of the spaces on every cycle, preventing anyone else from joining in. In January 2006 they took matters into their own hands and formed their own mini society, picking up plenty of new members along the way. 'First and foremost, we are a group of friends with a common interest in photography. It is our friendship and common desire to have fun that holds the group together, and has done for over seven years. BlackDogWhiteWall means a lot to each of us; during the busy lives we each live, we all know we can look forward to meeting up with our friends on a Tuesday night for good chat and some laughs.'

It's not all fun and games for the 17-strong group; capturing such beautiful images is serious business. 'As well as researching and finding beautiful locations within the region, we also look carefully at where the sun will be at different times of day and at different times of year for each location. We have to find opportunities that fit around our job commitments, as well as when the correct weather conditions are forecast. Often this does not simply mean a "nice day", as changeable weather is normally the best, with direct sunlight, dramatic clouds and moisture in the air. We also revisit locations regularly in order to see them in different light, weather conditions, times of day and year, as well as to discover different views and perspectives.'

The results are definitely worth the effort; you can almost sense the passion in each and every one of the group's images. Here Living North previews a small selection of their fabulous Yorkshire scenery, so you too can enjoy the beauty of dawn and dusk landscapes – no alarm required!

Published in: November 2013

Follow us on Instagram

Never miss an issue... Subscribe
Sign up to our free weekly newsletters to receive exclusive offers, competitions and updates.

Social Channels

Follow us on Instagram