Steetley Pier, Hartlepool

Lazy Sunday afternoons – Steetley Pier

I decided to take a walk out on the beach for some fresh air and to try out a long exposure photograph of Steetley Pier in Hartlepool having recently seen my friend Stephen Tierney’s great effort (www.stephentierney.co.uk).

I’ve taken pictures of the pier several times before but have always found the shifting sands under-foot difficult to handle when trying a long exposure photo… that and trying not to fall over when waves are crashing over your wellies!

Steetley Pier, Hartlepool
Steetley Pier, Hartlepool

Normally i’d shoot with a small aperture like f16 and focus on the foreground to ensure all of the picture was sharp, this time however; I wanted to blur out the background to make the pier fade into the distance. I used the widest open aperture of f5.6 that my lens would allow, this made a shallower depth of field and gave the background some bokeh (blur).

Aperture range
Aperture range

I firstly manually focused to the foreground, double checked the focus using the Live View zoom function and then attached my Lee Big Stopper. For those unfamiliar, this is essentially very dark glass which slows down the amount of light entering the camera lens. This allows you to take a longer exposure in order to capture a greater range of movement within the frame during the day, a whole 25 seconds in the end.

It was certainly fresh out there and it was not long before I made a hasty retreat home for some Sunday dinner and to check out the results!

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