Winter Light at Formby

Something I have learned over the years is that the winter light on the UK coast can be magical. Nowhere else is this truer than at Formby. Sefton, only a couple of miles up the beach, is the location Antony Gormley chose for his famous sculptures “Another Place”. His reason for choosing this location? You guessed it, the quality of the light.

Last weekend with the weather forecast for the Peak District looking decided uncertain, so I headed over to Formby instead. I was hoping for some magical winter light, and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s a shot from midday showing the great conditions, although you can’t see the strong gusting winds. I’m still cleaning the sand out of my kit.

Watching the storm. Formby Beach. Fuji XT3 with Fuji 16-80 lens.

I shot this handheld with the Fuji XT3 and Fuji 16-80 lens at 16mm. The exposure was 1/45” at f/13.0 and ISO160. I was also using a Kase 3 stop soft graduated filter on the sky.

Affinity Photo Selection Brush Secret Feature

For anyone who has ever struggled to make accurate selections using the Selection Brush Tool in Affinity Photo, you might be interested in this video. There’s a feature of Selection Brush that’s never mentioned but is vital to understand. Once you know about this, it makes using the tool so much easier. You can find out all the details in my short YouTube video https://youtu.be/lgP1HP5fLkc.

I hope you like the photo, find the video helpful and have a great weekend.

11 thoughts on “Winter Light at Formby

  1. It is true, the light is wonderful near the coast. But, on the sandy beaches there is one problem: the colours of the sand are a little to reddish. It may be a Panasonic problem (I use an XG80 and an XG9) but my former Nikons didnot have that problem. How is your experience with your G9?

      1. I know. But it strikes me there is no problem with the colours in this image as I seem to have a problem with my Panasonics. I wonder if you have images taken with your Panasonic and experience the same problems with the colours of the sands on the coast.

      2. Ah, sorry I misunderstood. Yes, I do have had some problems with the colours in my G9 BUT it’s tended to be the yellows that didn’t look right. A couple of things that I’ve now tried are:
        1. I found the Auto white balance was set to “white balance warm” so I changed it to Standard. This shouldn’t make any difference but it didn’t seem to work as a good starting point to work from.
        2. I preprocess my RAW files into DNG using DxO PhotoLab but deliberately don’t set a Camera colour space. Then when I process the DNG file I tend to use Lightroom and set the Camera Profile to either “Camera Standard” or “Natural”. I’ve found these give a much nicer result than the Adobe Color which is the default for most people.

        These changes shouldn’t in theory make much difference but I’m much happier with my G9 results now.

  2. Nice image! Greetings from winter in the Alps. Snow, minus 20 degree Celsius at night, minus 6 about 3 hours when the sun is looking into the valley 😉
    Keep up your work, Robin!

  3. these pictures, especially the sunset beach/sand shapes series (Last night on Formby beach. The……) were really great for me.
    the expanse, gradual color shifts and capturing the water shaped sand mounds really made the this series so nice to see. I’d print these and hang them up <<= the ultimate form of approval ???

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