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Shooting piers- photography technique - The coastline around the UK has several piers jutting out towards the sea. As well as providing amusements for the kids and hosting the local entertainment, they can provide fascinating subjects for photographers.
Living, as I do, by the coast at Lytham St. Annes gives me the opportunity to photograph those magnificent Victorian structures, Piers, four in fact - Blackpool's South Pier, Central Pier and the majestic North Pier, not forgetting St.Annes Pier, loved by painters and photographers alike. Here's a selection of images I have taken of St Annes and a few tips to help you shoot this bold subject
Most lenses can be used in pier photography from wide-angle to telephoto, even a macro can be useful for rust patterns and limpets, which get attached to supports under piers. My constant companion is a Tamron 35-70mm zoom.
I prefer transparency film such as Fuji Sensia, Velvia and also Kodak Elite Chrome 100. These scan very well when I need a digital result and Cibachrome enlargements, although expensive, can be made from the best slides. I recently discovered Agfa Scala black & white slide film, which I find excellent choice.
With the sky playing such an important part in pier photography, I find warm-up, polarising and grey graduated filters useful to have to hand. Warm-up filters are used in daytime hours to give a golden hue while at sunrise or sunset the natural colours are preferred. A polarising filter can be used to increase colour saturation, but my favourite filter is the grey graduated for its ability to tone down bright skies.