I Wish I’d Taken This Photo: Boscombe Pier

What Makes This A Great Photo?

*Absolutely gorgeous light. The sun breaking though the clouds adds a real sense of drama to this photo, and the contrast from the dark bottom to the light top adds great depth.

*The symmetry. Breaking the ‘rule of thirds’ rule to great effect, as one reason this shot works so well, in my opinion, is because of the almost flawless symmetry.

*Great patterns. The wooden boards of the pier create a very pleasing-to-the-eye pattern.

*The atmosphere. It looks like the pier stretches on to infinity – where does it lead to? Does it ever end? And where are all the people…?

All of these elements mean that a quite commonly-photographed subject of a pier can be made to be so much more in the right creative hands – I wish I’d taken this photo!

Boscombe Pier Photo by David Charlwood

'Boscombe Pier'

By David Charlwood (www.charlwoodphotography.com, charlwoodphotography.wordpress.com)

A Message From The Photographer:

Follow David on Twitter

Follow David on Twitter

The shot of Boscombe Pier was taken near where I grew up. It was my childhood beach.  The day was cold and windy and I’d taken my Canon G11 in case something caught my eye.  The pier did just that.  I yelled at the person I was with to stop, and positioned myself slightly to the left of the centre of the pier to remove a few people from the shot.  I had in mind that sense of timeless isolation that you feel when you seem to be the only person in the middle of a vast space.

I thought I’d also share a few words on editing, as the editing is what really brings out the character of the shot. I kept the image in colour as it reflects the day and the weather and provides more of a context to the viewer.  If the image were black and white it would be a focus on form, rather than drama.  I increased the contrast and added a vignette and a graduated filter to bring out the sky.  You can find the camera settings on Flickr.

What I love about the photo is the spontaneity of it. It was a quick shot taken whilst on a walk. The image quality of the G11 is very impressive at low ISOs, a match for an entry level DSLR, and it’s great to have a camera in my pocket that can capture the scene so well.

Many thanks to David for supplying this great insight into his shot, and for taking such a great photo in the first place!


  1. Faisal Al Nuaimi /

    excellent photo, i wish to learn how to be creative like you.

    kind regards

  2. I love photos like this where it seems like your looking in to forever.

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