I’m a huge fan of contrasts - contrasts of light, form, shape, and colour, but its often in the world of black & white photography that these contrasts can be brought firmly to the fore.
A few days ago I was crunching across this beautiful beach at St, Margaret’s at Cliffe, having just witnessed a beautiful sunrise display when this jetty caught my eye. I loved the diagonal patterns that the early morning light was throwing as well as the delightful opposing angles of the buttresses, but what really made the image for me was the rounded white chalk boulder which I position in the front of the frame. The shot was quite a challenge to get right because I wanted to calm the ocean down to avoid there being any distractions on the eye. This meant using a 10-stop filter (this is basically a super-dark piece of glass that sits over the front of the camera to cut out a LOT of light, allowing you to keep the shutter open for a long period and thereby eliminate the motion of the waves), and keeping the shutter open for close to 5 minutes.
What helped with the composition, was knowing in advance that this would be processed as a black & white image back at the lab, and sure enough, the colour in the original image was very distracting. I’m really happy with the finished result here - it has a meditative sense of calm, whilst also telling a story.