The Wirral coastline photography
PUBLISHED: 01:04 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:07 20 February 2013
Andrew Crothall spends most of his leisuretime clutching a camera. He explains why he loves to focus on the Wirral coastline
Standing on the Wirral coastline out past Hoylake and West Kirby, photographer Andrew Crothall is in his element. You'll find him in his wellies clutching his camera as he tramps along the glorious coast that borders our wonderful county. It's a soothing antidote to his nine-to-five existence as an IT manager.
The 44-year-old, who lives with his wife, Debbie, and has two daughters Helen, 20 and Amy, 18, said: 'I love the tranquillity, the sea birds settling down to roost, the water and the sound of the sea and the ever-changing sky remixing its palette of colours. It's a very special experience.
'Capturing this in a photograph is difficult because the eye sees so much more than the camera, but I enjoy trying and sometimes everything comes together to reflect the moment
'Sometimes, though, I have to put my camera down and soak it up. It's important that I don't end up glued to the viewfinder or else I could miss some of these wonderful experiences.'
It is moments like these that have helped Andrew produce these stunning images. From boats at Marine Lake in West Kirkby to views of Hilbre Island from the dunes at Red Rocks, Hoylake, and houses at Parkgate caught from an unusual angle, the light and the ever-changing landscape have all contributed to Andrew's beautiful portfolio of images.
He likes Anglesey and Liverpool as well as the rugged Northumberland coast. But it is his time spent appreciating the coastline near his Bebington home that he enjoys most.
He explained: 'The Wirral is, of course, convenient for me and you're never more than a few miles from the coast. As a photographer, though, it's easy to overlook what's on your doorstep and many photographers feel compelled to go after the iconic landscapes of Snowdonia, the Lake District and Scotland.
'But this area has a lot going for it. What attracts me is that it's constantly changing. Not only do the tides come in and out but the weather varies. I never tire of driving down to West Kirby or Hoylake. I go out in the evening when a lot of people have given up because the sun has set. But there's this fantastic time when the sun's gone down and the light is fabulous, really pretty.'
Photography has been a long-time passion for Andrew, who lived in West Africa until he was eight-years-old. For the past 25 years he has been taking photographs in some form or another sparked by a gift when he was a teenager.
'My eldest brother gave me a Russian Zenit camera. It was like a tank, in fact, it may have been made from one. It was totally manual with not a battery in sight. It forced me to learn the technicalities of photography; there was no "point and shoot".'
Andrew, a member of the Royal Photographic Society who is preparing for an associateship application in the organisation, may not have a favourite image, but as far as experiences are concerned, there are a few that stand out.
He explained: 'I was out at New Brighton. Again, the sun had set and the tide was going out. I was standing in my wellies watching it. The colour of the sky was reflected in the water, that's why my image is so blue.
'I like to try and capture a glimpse of what nature offers us: the changing seasons, variable weather and wonderful light. But Debbie doesn't normally come out with me on an evening. If she thinks there's a chance of a decent walk that's not regularly interrupted by photographs then she will. When I say "Do you fancy a walk?" she always looks to see if I have my camera bag first. I can't blame her.'
To view or buy more of Andrew's work visit www.andrewcrothall.co.uk. Framed and unframed pictures are also available from Le Bizz in West Kirby and a smaller selection of fine art prints from Dee Fine Arts in Heswall.
All photography copyright of Andrew Crothall