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Sunset at Hunstanton in Norfolk, England
Walker on Hunstanton beach during the last sunset of 2011 (Click pic for photo gallery)

…it’s been a pretty crap year.

While I’ve had many really interesting commissions, met and worked with some fantastic people and produced some really pleasing images – it’s been a fairly quiet year for work. I’m hoping 2012 will be a great year. Alas, the current news reports don’t exactly bode well and I really can’t see the Olympics or Queen’s Diamond Jubilee putting a few quid into my pockets.

While I’d love to be a Corporal Jones type character, running around maniacally cajoling those nearby, shouting “Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring, don’t panic!”. Realistically, I may shuffle quietly around, muttering Private Fraser’s famous phrase “We’re doomed, I say. Doomed”.
(If you don’t get the very British reference, click here)

To mark the last day of 2011, I popped down to Hunstanton in Norfolk to look for some potential pictures. I was hoping for a few cliched views of a desolated British seaside resort during Winter. In reality the mild weekend weather meant it was positively teeming with people strolling along the beach and promenade.

‘Plan B’ was the more newsy angle of photographing the crowds gathered to view the Sperm Whale corpse that had washed ashore on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately it was decomposing quite rapidly (a bit whiffy to say the least) and souvenir hunters had illegally chopped off its lower jaw and cut out remaining teeth. Not a pretty sight. Onto ‘Plan C’.

Although ‘Sunny Hunny’ (as the locals call it) is an east coast town, it unusually faces west and is one of the few places on England’s east coast where the sun can be seen to set over the sea. So I decided to shoot another cliche; the last sunset of the year. I was expecting dog walkers, but was pleased to discover a few para-surfers making the most of the prevailing weather conditions.

(Don’t forget to click on the picture above to view a gallery of pictures.)

So, goodbye, see you all next year! Farewell, adieu, au revoir, ciao, adios, bye-bye, so long, see you later, sayonara, bon voyage, cheers, toodle-oo and pip-pip.

 

For the photographers out there: I was tempted to play around with these images in Photoshop. But my arty impulse left me stranded as a result of a very late New Years Eve night. So in Lightroom, I simply set the colour balance to ‘Cloudy’ (a smidgen warmer than the normal ‘Daylight’) but with this extreme lighting there is no ‘correct’ setting so all bets are off. Tweaked the ‘Exposure’, ‘Recovery’, ‘Blacks’, ‘Brightness’ and ‘Contrast’. Added a bit of ‘Clarity’ and a dash of ‘Vibrance’. Nothing radical.

I must apologise to all the amateur photographers out there who were unknowingly berated by me for poor masking technique when darkening their skies. There really is a weird dark line along the horizon at sunset – who knew? Well I didn’t, I just thought it was sloppy post processing work. Sorry!

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