Brean Down, Somerset, England by John Brooks

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Picture Story

My stepson was visiting from China and wanted to visit a sea resort in the UK. Although it was July the weather was not warm, especially on the coast but that meant the shores would not be too crowded. The nearest decent seaside resport was Clevedon which we went to but upon arriving our visitor declared that there was no beach, just rocks and he would like to see some sand! The next nearest resort was Weston-super-Mare, which apart from having a pier was not renowned for its beach which seemed to be predominantly mud deposited from the Bristol channel. Also the tide seldom seems to be in at the town and the sea may only be espied by telescope or binoculars!

Therefore I decided to head for Brean down a few miles further down the coast in North Somerset. The route was not long but fairly windy through small roads and lanes with some holiday camps along the way, hardly beautiful in fact some rather ugly and unattractive. However, the redeeming feature of Brean was a fantastic stretch of sand often used for sand boats and kite flying.

When we arrived the tide was out but the sea visible and not too distant, the wind was fairly strong but not unbearable.
My wife and stepson saw the National Trust site at the top of the headland which meant ascending quite a lot of steps which I did not fancy having had two replacement hips recently.

So, with my new camera being "on test" I readily agreed to stay on the beach and capture some images. The choises were limited but inspiring with posts embedded in the beach stretching from the dunes down to the sea presenting some interesting perspective. I took a light reading with mey Weston Master 5 meter and set the aperture and shutter speed accorinng to the EV.

Upon taking the first few shots and winding on the film the mechanism seemed stiff and reluctant to bring the film to the next frame but the counter seemed to move on.

Accordingly I exposed about half a film and awaited the results expectantly. The developed film was great and results very pleasing, especially the exposures. However, imagine my surprise when I discovered a doubly exposed frame BUT the result was superb and very pleasing. Strangley enough I have used a "double image layered" quite often in producing abstract works which often sell when I exhibit. So I ended up with a very satisfying result through serendipity! A very satisfacory first outing for the Bronica and the family enjoyed the headland too.


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