Alison Taylor is a highly respected coastal photographer based in Yorkshire. In October 2020 she was accepted as an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. The subject of her talk was, ‘What to photograph at the coast’ and a portfolio of photos from Yorkshire and Northumberland.
Alison began her talk by taking members through some of the essential preparations for a coastal photographer. The wind and the tides can be quite challenging and so waterproofs with pockets, Wellington boots, and an abundance of lens cloths were among the requirements.
Alison explained that she sometimes took calculated risks when getting close to rough seas. Understanding the tide times and access points to the beach are important safety considerations. Accessing the beach at the right time is essential, for example, Saltwick which is only accessible at low tide. At Saltwick, she said, “The ledge contains rock pools which reflect the light and there are little waterfalls between them which are wonderful.”.
Handling expensive camera equipment is a challenge on the beach, not least because of the sand and salt water. Alison doesn’t take a lot of equipment with her, just what she can stuff in her pockets. She explained that cleaning lenses required the use of a fresh lens cloth each time. A used lens cloth might contain sandy grit which could easily scratch a lens.
Her favourite time to take photographs was when the rain stops and the light begins to come through.
“I take a lot of photographs of waves because each one is different and completely unpredictable. You can keep going back to the same spot and it’s always going to be different.”
Alison showed a number of photos using intentional camera movement or ICM. She explained that it was good to have something in the frame you can recognise, even if most of the picture is abstract.
Alison took members on a photographic adventure along the Yorkshire and Northumberland coast. She likes to visit the locations in December when the beaches are quiet – even if the days are short and the weather rough. Among the Yorkshire spots were Whitby and Sandsend which she says are among her favourite places to photograph. “Sandsend has an amazing beach and the groynes are great to photograph when the sea is washing around them.”
“No matter how often you visit the Yorkshire coast it always looks different and there is something new to enjoy.”
You can see more of Alison’s Work on her website at this address. alisontaylorphotography.org
Ilkley Camera Club is currently meeting on Friday evenings at 7.30pm. Some meetings are held at St Peter’s Church Hall in Addingham and others on Zoom. For more information visit the Club website at ilkleycameraclub.co.uk or their Facebook page, facebook.com/ilkleycameraclub. Visitors and new members are welcome.