When you shoot a landscape in many ways it's like taking a portrait of a person. You can choose to show either its good side or its bad side, capture its mood, portray its personality and include enough visual clues to tell the viewer a bit about what goes on there. Rather than just aim to capture a beautiful scene, why not try to make your subject more interesting by attempting to show its true character, by taking a portrait of the place?

A couple of years ago I spent a week exploring some of the magnificent coastline of North Yorkshire. I could have concentrated solely on well known beauty spots such as Robin Hood's Bay, Runswick Bay and Staithes; goodness knows, there's enough to choose from in that part of the World! However, it is rare to find a flawless beauty, either human or topographical. If you want to produce more than just a few superficial snaps you really need to get to know your subject, warts and all.

It's perhaps unfair to liken Skinningrove to a wart, it has in fact got a rather attractive beach beyond the working harbour and I could have focused on the golden sand and shimmering ocean to show its best side. That may well have produced a picture that Skillingdale, if it was a person, would be happy to hang on its wall. But that wouldn't portray the real Skinningrove, reflect its personality or tell us very much about it at all.

This is more like the true Skinningrove, an honest, hard working Skinningrove that doesn't look its best when it's first got out of bed and hasn't yet had time to tidy itself up. The real Skinningrove that its true friends know and love, which more than makes up for its untidy appearance with genuine warmth and unpretentious charm.


Yes, Skinningrove has avoided the tourism makeover quite admirably and proudly remains a working class fishing village, warts and all.