Scarborough Awakens

So yesterday morning I headed further down the North Yorkshire coast to Scarborough to shoot a few pictures. Arriving at North Bay after an hour’s drive from Saltburn I was early enough to catch the high Spring tides as they caused a few waves to crash over the seawall and railings. They weren’t massive waves by any stretch which always look so dramatic but the light was great and it made for some nice shapes as the water crashed against the wall.

I find it’s quite addictive shooting something like this as there’s always that feeling of ‘…if I leave now then the next one might be even better‘ so I spent a while shooting a few as I tried to get close enough to get some drama without getting drenched and spending the rest of the day soaking wet and at the same time trying to avoid being knocked over by the cars driving along the road! But needs must and I was able to get a few half-decent pictures that I was reasonably pleased with.

From there I parked up in a usual spot I go to at the end of Marine Drive and close to the harbour where I went for a wander about. I like this approach to doing my own pictures and I try to do a similar thing wherever I go to. Now I know from being there a number of times before that like many places, there are good pictures from certain areas more than others but if I can I try and shoot something different or if I see something that attracts my interest then I just shoot pictures anyway.

After I had wandered about for a while shooting a few around the harbour area, the fishing boats and some ‘street’ type stuff I headed along to the Scarborough Spa. This is a great old building with a rich history and which currently acts as a venue for shows, conferences and performances as well as being one of the most iconic symbols of the town.

Today they were hosting the ‘Scarborough Sci-fi Festival’. An event that brought together those folks that are into all things sci-fi to enjoy and take part in a host of guest talks, lectures, merchandise stands, entertainment, screenings and generally dive into a weekend of sci-fi shenanigans. There were quite a few people dressed up as various characters from all different genres of science fiction so I hung around for a bit and shot a few pictures of some of them as they were outside the spa or down on the beach.

After that I filed a few pictures in and as it was getting on a bit I headed off back in the general direction of my car thinking I might get a few more pictures as I went. But as it was a cracking day on our great Yorkshire coast the visitors had descended in their hundreds and the place was heaving so after weaving in and out between the masses for a while and not really getting much in the way of pictures that were working and after a seagull decided to carry out an aerial bombardment on the back of my jacket letting me know what it had had for breakfast – always happy to share are seagulls! #flyingrats – I figured I would call it a day and head off.


Behind the Scenes:

There are some pictures from Scarborough below but before that is a ‘kit shot’ of what I use on some of the jobs or photo-trips I might undertake so by way of a techy stuff interlude I thought I’d go over a few things about what I use. So read on if this stuff interests you or if doesn’t then jump down to the pics 😉

My approach to my photos is generally very ‘loose’ and without a specific brief and I tend to work quickly. Methodically but quickly and kind of let things happen or, if I have to pose up a picture for a portrait (and I might only do it for portraits – everything else is just as it happens) then I don’t go mad with it usually.

I don’t use tripods (unless it’s the middle of the night or something obviously) and I like to travel light and work with a small amount of kit. When I can I use prime lenses. Always have done in the main. But obviously some of the jobs I cover need to have the benefits of using zoom lenses either due to the space, mobility, flexibility or the requirement to get a range of shots from one event. Obviously this is far easier with zooms but for my own stuff or indeed those jobs I do where I know, or think, I will have some freedom then I shoot on prime lenses and that’s what I did yesterday.

All the shots below were taken on a 35mm f2 Summicron lens on my Leica M9 digital camera. I had also initially thought to use the day to shoot some film. I learned photography shooting film. All the technical ‘stuff’ that you need to know I taught myself when I first got into taking pictures twenty odd years ago and understanding film and learning to develop it was of course a big part of that. But yesterday I kind of got into a groove from the off with my digital camera and didn’t end up shooting much film at all unfortunately. But that’s ok – there’s always the next time.

Below is a picture of what I carried yesterday. It kind of looks like a lot all laid out but it isn’t really that heavy and it all fits into the small Barbour shoulder bag I was carrying so it doesn’t end up being too much of a pain to carry around all day especially when one of the cameras was always out anyway.



So to briefly go over the stuff (from left to right and top to bottom) we have:

My BPPA Press card (British Press Photographers’ Association). Barbour bag. Chamois leather/lens cloth. Air blower for getting rid of dust from sensors or whatever. MiFi to get on ‘tinternet when using the IPad air 2 – I usually use a 15″ mac book to edit, caption and file pictures to a news desks when I’m out and about but sometimes when I’m shooting my own stuff I’ll just carry this as it’s lighter and reasonably capable of doing an edit. I can still ingest pictures, edit, caption and file through that with a couple of programmes but I’m still trying to streamline and tweak that workflow process to make it faster and more efficient. USB and SD card adapters to connect and ingest pictures to the IPad. Notebook & pens. Apple blue tooth wireless keyboard – connected to the iPad I find it easier to type captions on a normal keyboard rather than touch screen and these are great (and light). Ten rolls of black and white film (5 x Kodak 400ASA TriX and 5 x Ilford 400ASA XP2).

Leica M9 with manual focusing 35mm f2 Summicron lens. Couple of 3-stop ND filters (these essentially reduce light coming into the camera allowing me to use a higher aperture especially in bright sunshine as the M9 only has a 4000th of a second as the max shutter speed). Spare M9 batteries (although a couple of my Fuji spares are in there all the time). Leica M2 with manual focusing 50mm f2 Summicron lens – this is a great old camera. This one was produced in 1960 and is fully manual and doesn’t have a meter so needs no batteries. Spare SD memory cards.

Sekonic L-308s light meter – I use this in tricky lighting for getting a first exposure when using any of my cameras if time allows but especially with the M2. It came in handy yesterday with the bright white of the storm trooper uniforms in sunshine.

Using it to obtain an ‘Incident’ light reading which reads the light falling on your subject, instead of measuring the light reflected from it as the built in meter in a camera does. The difference is that in reflected mode, the meter can be fooled because a white subject (or a black subject) reflect light very differently. When using incident mode, how light or dark the subject is doesn’t matter because the meter is reading the light emanating from the sky or artificial light source before it gets to the subject. So as the light didn’t change much yesterday I took a reading at the start so that I was exposing accurately for the bright suits, remembered it and used it as the foundation for exposing the pictures, of the Storm Troopers at least, and then I just tweaked the exposure as needed as I went.

So that’s what I carried yesterday. Fairly simple and light enough to carry around. Shooting as I was on one lens yesterday – the 35 – it does restrict you at times and it takes more thought and discipline to shoot a prime lens and of course there are shots that you simply can’t achieve but that’s fine. In situations like this I’m happy with that. If it was a ‘normal’ job I’d have had three cameras on the go. The M9, but with the 50mm attached and 2 x Fuji XT1’s. One with a 16mm (24mm equivalent as it isn’t full frame) f 1.4 prime and the other with a 50-140 f2.8 (70-200mm equivalent) to give me more options.

But given the choice and the freedom to shoot how I want this lens is normally what I like to use…I can get close to what’s going on, I can include some of the environment in the picture to give it some context, the quality of the lens is amazing and it’s good to be more ‘manual’ – controlling the exposures myself, focusing the lens myself and thinking more about my pictures and putting them together.

Doing it like this as often as possible makes it, for me at least, more intuitive and helps me keep sharp on the basic foundations of photography – the light, the exposure, the composition and the subject – it keeps my eye in and makes me think about what’s important in a picture. All of which can sometimes be overlooked and even forgotten if you always rely on the camera to do everything. Even in fast moving more news orientated stories it has paid off and I’m as comfortable using this manual focusing ‘slow’ camera where I can’t take several shots a second as I am with using my other, more speedy’ cameras’.


So anyway…….. here’s a few from Scarborough:


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See more of my work on my website and blogs… HERE

Images copyright Ian Forsyth

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

Scarborough Skipping

The annual Shrove Tuesday skipping event in Scarborough, North Yorkshire officially started today with the ringing of the Pancake Bell. Traditionally the sign for the ‘women folk‘ to start making pancakes. The tradition of skipping on Shrove Tuesday is said to date back to 1903, when it’s thought that fishermen would use Shrove Tuesday to sort out their nets and ropes, and then hand over the discarded ones to the children to skip with.


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See more of my work on my website and blogs bia the link…. HERE

All images remain copyright Ian Forsyth

No usage without arrangement

Scarborough dawn

Down in Scarborough in North Yorkshire for first light this morning to finish off a commercial job I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks and took the opportunity to grab a couple of shots for myself around the harbour while I was there…


Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn

Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn

Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn Scarborough Harbour at dawn


See more of my pictures on my website and blogs… HERE

Copyright Ian Forsyth – No usage without agreement

COAST PEOPLE – Scarborough

A day shooting for ‘Coast People’ down the coast in Scarborough…


Coast People - ScarboroughKittiwake

Coast People - ScarboroughSunday morning routine

Coast People - ScarboroughPiggy back

Coast People - ScarboroughBeach huts

Coast People - ScarboroughDog walk

Coast People - ScarboroughMotor scooter along the prom

Coast People - ScarboroughScarborough Castle

Coast People - ScarboroughCamper van couple

Coast People - ScarboroughCycling along the promenade

Coast People - ScarboroughThree yachts

Coast People - ScarboroughTime alone

Coast People - ScarboroughBoat’s cabin

Coast People - ScarboroughThe captain of a boat checks his mooring lines

Coast People - ScarboroughCouple on the sea wall

Coast People - Scarborough

Teddy Boy

Coast People - Scarborough

Teddy Boy

Coast People - Scarborough

Seafront, South Bay

Coast People - Scarborough

Don’t be afraid…hold my hand

Coast People - Scarborough


Coast People - ScarboroughDonkeys


Some things can’t be fixed

The elaborate tombstone marking the spot where Jimmy Savile was laid to rest in a Scarborough cemetery was removed at midnight last night after Savile’s family requested it be taken away out of “respect to public opinion”. The move came after police said they believe the “predatory sex offender” could have abused up to 25 victims over 40 years.

Savile’s family members said they made the decision to ensure the “dignity and sanctity” of Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough.

The headstone, which bears the star’s image and lists his accomplishments, including the epitaph “It was good while it lasted”, was due to be removed at 7am this morning but work was brought forward to midnight to avoid unwanted attention, and out of respect for those with relatives in the graveyard.

It has now been taken to a stonemason’s yard in Leeds where the inscription will be ground down and will then be broken up and sent to landfill.

Funeral director Robert Morphit, of Joseph A Hey and Son, who organised Savile’s funeral and oversaw the dismantling of the headstone, said: “Yesterday afternoon the family contacted me and said they’d thought very carefully about the course of action with regard to the stone. They had decided that in order to protect the dignity and sanctity of this cemetery it was appropriate to remove the stone.”

The grave, in which Savile was buried at an angle so he could “see” Scarborough Castle and the sea, will remain unmarked for the foreseeable future. The spot, which is roped off, is now identifiable only by several bunches of flowers on a dirt patch.

Mr Morphit said once the family comes to terms with the outcome of various investigations they will make a decision as to how it should be marked in the future.

On Tuesday, Commander Peter Spindler, Scotland Yard’s head of specialist crime investigations, said the abuse appeared to have been on a “national scale”. He said “At this stage it is quite clear from what women are telling us that Savile was a predatory sex offender.”

Scotland Yard has formally recorded eight criminal allegations against the former Top Of The Pops presenter so far in its investigation, named Operation Yewtree. The alleged abuse involves teenage girls as young as 13 and includes two complaints of rape and six of indecent assault, with officers looking into up to 120 lines of inquiry that could lead to up to 25 victims.


The light of a TV news camera lights up the spot where the headstone was removed from Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough

Only a small amount of flowers remain at the graveside

One of the few remaining cards left at the graveside from the burial

Funeral Director Robert Morphit stands by the grave of Jimmy Savile.


To view my pictures from the funeral of Jimmy Savile in October click on this link… 

Good Bye Jimmy