Dunwich village is a small fishing hamlet on the sweeping coastline of Suffolk in East Anglia. During the middle ages, it was a thriving port, but due to coastal erosion, it has all but crumbled into the sea. Nowadays, it’s hard to believe that in the 14th century, Dunwich was once as big as London. This wonderfully atmospheric stretch of the coast is synonomous with the famous ghost stories of MR James.
I wanted to capture this mysterious atmosphere in my 360 interactive panorama. It wasn’t for any particular client, it was personal work, so for once, I had the creative freedom to do as I pleased. I chose to shoot at sunrise, on a bitterly cold Autumnal morning after a changeable weather forecast indicated the mood I was hoping to impart.
I shot in high dynamic range (HDR) to capture the full contrast and tonal range of the scene. This HDR technique is of particular importance with 360 imagery, as it needs to capture the entire 360 degree sphere, from the deepest shadows to the brightest highlights. In this instance, it was something like 22 stops. I then carefully toned mapped the .hdr output file to produce the final image, and added an ambient audio recording of the seagulls and waves crashing on the beach.
It’s a real shame that, over recent years, so many of these old wooden fishing boats have succumbed to the harsh elements. They make wonderful subjects, with each grain of wood telling a tale, like the wrinkles upon an old fisherman’s face. This particular one was named Jill Anne. I often wonder who she was named after … perhaps the sweetheart of some stalwart young fisherman … i guess we shall never know.
I also shot the boat a few hours later with my digital infrared camera and a long exposure of about thirty seconds. The moody, black and white image, was selected for sale as large panoramic canvas prints by the high street retailer Habitat.