Winter at Fairhaven

In honour of the shiny new camera, and in the hope of inspiring myself to be a little bit more creative, I’m planning to try to follow WordPress’s weekly photo challenge. This week, the theme is “Winter”, and I have been flirting with ideas. I’m not happy that I’ve come up with anything which really matches the theme, but I’m rather pleased with these images, so I’m treating this week as a trial run.

I love images of the seaside in the off-season: growing up near Blackpool, I saw an awful lot of grey skies and high tides, and it was always a bit of a game to try to spot something striking or beautiful about the wintry side of a traditionally summery place.* When my parents gave me a 35mm SLR many Christmases ago, I took it out to Lytham on a beautifully clear winter’s day, and had a great time shooting beachscapes. Christening the new camera in a similar way seemed only right. As the day was fairly grey, I decided to keep the pictures in black and white, to make the most of whatever contrast I could get.

We went for a walk along the St Annes seafront and around Fairhaven Lake this afternoon, and the camera and I braved some bitterly cold winds while my mum kept Eoin occupied in a slightly more sheltered location. The first pictures I got were of a rowing boat from the nearby lake, which had emphatically seen its last summer:

I also cropped a wide shot down to form a sort of panorama: with just the two tiny figures in the distance and the wrecked boat in the foreground, I thought it had a bit of an apocalyptic feel.*

Click to embiggen: it's rather better at full size

On the lake, we found a swan with his moorhen shadow:


Two more swans gave us a display of synchronised dabbling, which amused Eoin very much:

I’m not sure how well any of this fits with the theme of the week, but I didn’t see anything stereotypically wintry: no snow (it’s the seaside, after all: there’s so much salt in the air that we don’t get snow unless conditions are pretty appalling), no skating, no mulled wine, no cheeky robins. We did manage to find a poke of chips to share on the way home, though, and nothing really says winter on the Lancashire coast to me like huddling up on the seafront in warm coats and scarves, eating steaming-hot chips with the flip-tops of your mittens turned back so your hands stay warm.

*Sometimes it was also pretty hard work. Our school had a habit of sending you cross-country running around the Pleasure Beach, and I can tell you from bitter experience that it was very tough to find anything attractive or indeed remotely pleasurable about it.
*Perhaps it does. Or perhaps I’m just really sleep-deprived at the moment…

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