I am sure like me, you will have your favourite places to take photos, close to where you live or somewhere that you keep going back too.
I must have photographed Bamburgh Castle hundreds of times. I have some amazing memories from this beach. Be it playing there as a small child with my grandparents on the annual half term day out trip up the coast, fishing from the beach in my teens, photographing the Aurora in the UK for the first time and many many more. When you visit somewhere on regular occasions, you get a feel for the place, you instinctively know where to stand to create a composition and you know what conditions will produce the best light. However on occasions, something magical happens and you see the location in a whole new light.
This happened to me a few weeks ago when running a workshop in Northumberland. The forecast had looked promising without it being spectacular, yet it was good enough to suggest to the group that they might want to set their alarm clocks for 3am in the morning and to have a trip out. Arriving at the beach, there were patches of clear skies and the smallest hint of colour in the sky as the first light of the day started to appear. I knew that if we got lucky then the sky would catch and we would have pink hues. I also knew that the sun would rise directly behind the Farne Islands, 2 miles out to sea and that we could get some great side light on the castle. What I didn't know was that for 5 minutes as the sun came up, there would be clear skies in that exact location and the effect it would have on the castle would be staggering. The result can be seen above. Without doubt it is the most stunning light that I have ever witnessed at Bamburgh and the fact that the sky didn't catch, in my opinion adds even more to the mood of the image.
Whilst I love travelling to new locations and searching for compositions, going back time after time to a place you have visited many times can have huge advantages, It also provides you with an opportunity to see how you have developed as a photographer and whilst some places may be timeless, Mother Nature has a unique way for surprising you for time to time.
I am back in Northumberland with another group this weekend and I can't wait to be back home.