The Story Behind the Shot – Llandudno Pier.

The Story Behind the Shot - Llandudno Pier

In my second post in this series, I talk about one of my favourite images from my portfolio. An image from Llandudno situated on the North Coast of Wales.

Llandudno has fond memories for me, having spent many a day visiting up the road in nearby Rhyl and Prestatyn in my childhood. We used to visit here quite regular and stayed a few weekends in a caravan park, and have great memories of climbing the Great Orme and riding the Toboggan Run at the Ski Centre.

Let us get back to the reason for this post the image. This was taken on a meetup from a Facebook group called Lets Create run by Mali Davies Photography which is a great group not only for the meetups but the support that is gained from being a member, there are no egos just a great bunch of people who are happy to support anybody from the absolute beginner to the Professional. My photography has improved massively as being part of this group and being able to chat with some like-minded folk.

We had an earlier meetup on the beach and it was a glorious sunny day and quite warm, but we were greeted with clear blue skies, which is great for sunbathing but doesn’t lend well to photography. I’ll be honest that I really struggle with seascapes and photographing on the beach, so I’ll be honest that I didn’t come away with many keepers. I’d also committed the cardinal sin for any walker out there and get my feet wet in the sea to capture a shot. Here’s me thinking I had a pair of waterproof boots, how wrong was I. Later we went for a bit to eat then decided to climb up the Great Orme.

Here are a few more images I took on the day.

If you don’t know the Great Orme, its a headland on the east of Llandudno, which is a relatively small hill compared to others in the vicinity such as Snowdonia and is easily accessible in a car, the local tramway or if your full of energy its a good walk to the top, which is well worth the trek as you are treated to some great views on a clear day, and affords a great vantage point for photography.

As I was on top of the hill and there wasn’t a great deal of foreground interest I decided to put on my Sigma 17-70 F2.8-F4 DC OSM and try to pick out some details in the excellent view I had. This is an excellent lens for a very reasonable price with it not being a Canon IS Lens, unfortunately, I no longer own this due to switching systems to Olympus. I definitely recommend this if you’re on a Canon system.

I decided to put on my 10 stop ND filter to try to smooth out some of the water around the Pier, and choosing a composition using the pier on the bottom third and the distant Little Orme on the top third. A composition that really worked. This was shot at F8 which is an optimum aperture for this lens and a stable go-to for most photographers, with a 25-second exposure with an ISO 100.

I love the colours that this image produced, and we were lucky to have a few clouds later in the day, which added a good bit of interest in the sky. The long exposure effect created a beautiful blue tone to the sea and this is the part I love the most. I’ll confess that I used a lot of contrast in this image (up to 100 in Lightroom, yes I said 100!). I was going through a phase of using a lot of contrast in my images and a technique I still, love using to this day. I also pushed the vibrance a bit further up to 15 as I liked that saturated blue look.

I hope you enjoyed the write up of the story behind my image and tell me what you think and if you would do anything differently in the comments below.