Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast has an enormous amount of photo opportunities, In this section, I will show you my favorite locations, the best time to visit and of course tips to help you get results.
Whitby East Pier
Whitby East Pier
Without a doubt, Whitby has two of the most unique piers within the British Isles. There is an infinite number of possibilities here, My favorite time is early morning on the west pier. Get there early is my recommendation to give yourself time to get organized. Due to the north facing characteristics of these piers your certain of the sun been a good position regardless of the time of year. Getting a good shot of the east pier at sunrise is a classic shot to take. Long Exposures work well to smooth out the sea if that's the look your after or stretch out the sky with some moody clouds. I don't tend to use a polariser for this position as your more or less facing the sun and it would have little to no effect. Use a 2 to 3 stop hard graduated filter to control the brighter parts of the sky or bracket the exposures 2 to 3 stops either side of base exposure to later blend in post-production.
This is a great spot to capture the twin piers at sunset during the summer months. With the sun setting further round the compass dial it will be plopping into the sea so to speak. The spot to go to is located on the other side of the harbor through the old town on Henrietta street. Click the map to reveal the location in which to take the shot. Its a small carpark standing area, probably private but its basically just off the main road and I would think no one is really going to come and remove you.
Filter wise again because shooting more or less directly towards the sun a polariser is of little use. A two to three stop hard graduated filter is a good choice or bracketing again to later blend in Photoshop. A panoramic shot from here works well too. Shooting in portrait format at a longer focal length works very well bringing in the detail much closet.
One can not resist making this ever popular shot of Whitby's iconic steps. My advice is to get there early and set up a good half hour or earlier and prepare to wait. Many other people want to replicate this image and for good reason, It's a great scene. It is not only popular with photographers though, its a tourist hot spot. There will be people up and down those steps constantly. If you want to make a clean shot with no people in the frame there are two ways to go about it.
1. Make a long exposure. Because of the drop in light if you are shooting near or just after sunset (which I think is the best time) you may need to use a 3 to 6 stop neutral density filter to slow down the shutter speed. Give yourself 10 to 20 seconds of exposure time to alow moving people not to be recorded on the camera's sensor. You may still get some ghosting though.
2. Make two or more shots several seconds apart and blend the results together in Photoshop masking out people between the two shots. This is my preferred option.
There are several lamposts along the rout of the steps, try to find the one with S4 written on it. Waiting for the light to come on too is worth the wait and for some reason this lamp light up last of all. The light adds a nice glow on the steps. Try to be quick though and take a few shots because as that lamp warms up its get brighter and brighter running the risk of lens flare and blowing out the highlights.
Click on the map to the left for the location of the steps. Another top tip is to come straight here after you have taken the shot of the twin piers from Henrietta Street. It is only a short walk and you can make two very nice shots in only a short time.
To Finish off
These are three of my favorite viewpoints in Whitby to photograph, but there are thousands of other compositions to be had. The Abbey, graveyard, the old town and many more. I could add to this list and I probably will get round to it at some stage, but if you do see an image in my gallery and want to know where to go to get the shot just ask me in the contacts section or comment on the image in the gallery. I will get back to you with an answer as soon as I can.