Bright, brighter, Brighton. A small beach town in England, only an hour away from London, but worlds apart from the bustling city. Brighton is an idyllic seaside paradise with pebble beaches, a pier topped with an amusement park, and old historic pier (my personal favourite), the i360 and, to much of the displeasure of the locals and tourists alike, without a Ferris wheel (more on this maybe some other time). But still with lots of greasy fish and chips. Yummyumm. Mostly. Depends. Have rather mixed feelings about eating fish.

This spring I was fortunate enough to spend a whole week in Brighton, visiting some of the surrounding villages and sights. Mind you, I was there with a group of my students, so it wasn’t a holiday. It really wasn’t. Although such trips are great, they also result in a constant state of some form of stress. And it’s exhausting. If you’d like to read up on the experiences of a teacher on a language trip, read my thoughts on this in Sun, sea, beach: Brighton.

The stress aside, Brighton beach lends itself fantastically to sunset and sunrise photography. If the teacher can steal some time for herself while the students are having dinner and she gets really really lucky, she might, just might experience a magical sunset. Being able to capture an ineffably beautiful explosion of colour in the sky with fabulous subject in your frame… Pure bliss and ecstatic happiness. For me Pier into the Sunset is the one photo from this trip that captures the sheer beauty of Brighton beach. I could stare at this image for hours. For me it encapsulates a perfect moment of pure splendour. I hope it gives you the same joy.

BEFORE AND AFTER

Of course a RAW image is by far not as vivid as what our eyes perceive reality. Fortunately, corrections are easily done in Lightroom and Photoshop to make those colours pop. Here’s a comparison between the original RAW file and the processed image.

TECHNICAL SPECS AND GPS COORDINATES

Location: 50°49’14.1″N 0°09’00.4″W
Gear: Nikon D5300 • Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 • Matona ballhead travel tripod
Shot: single RAW file • 16mm • F11 • 1/3 sec • ISO 100
Software:  Lightroom 6, Photoshop CC, Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4

If you’d like to know more about the post-processing of this image, let me know in the comments below. I’m more than happy to share the settings and techniques I’ve used.

Credit is also due to my amazingly patient colleague, Regina, who waited for me to get the shot for what seemed like eternity. Kudos.

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