One of the most important things I have learnt over the last 19 years of being a professional photographer, is the importance of having a local spot to try out new gear, explore new techniques and just generally practise my photography. This may sound a bit strange as surely after 19 years there is no longer any need for me to practise? The reality is that it can be extremely easy to become complacent after so many years of doing something. Yes, I can pretty much go into auto pilot when composing a shot but that is not necessarily a good thing. So this is why I choose this same, small stretch of local coastline to practise my photography. The key for me is familiarity. As the location is so familiar in my minds eye, when I visit I really only have two choices; repeat past compositions or be forced to be adventurous and try out something new.
My local stomping ground is Old Hartley Bay which is located north of St Mary’s Island and Lighthouse near Whitley Bay in North Tyneside. It is a great little spot for photography with the added bonus of me quite often having the place to myself as other photographers tend to visit the main car park near the causeway to St Mary’s.
I thought it would be nice to share a few photos that I have taken over the years at the bay. Many are imperfect to be honest but that is the whole point of practise, practise, practise!