The distinctive shape of Southwold Pier, jutting out into the North Sea, is characterised by well defined lines and shapes that juxtapose with the vast, ever moving sea. A deceptively simple scene, it can be hard to make it work as a photo. Not enough of the pier and it’s a bit lost amidst all the water, too much and it seems out of proportion to the seascape it sits in. Finding a balance is down to personal taste and interpretation and for me it was about using the soft, pale light to compliment not just the balance of the two but also the colour palette. I used a 10 stop ND filter to provide a long shutter speed that smoothed out the water so it contrasted nicely with the harder shapes of the pier, a trick I’ve drawn from the work of JMW Turner. With such a soft, pastel grey colour scheme some much needed contrast was created via a black & white conversion completing the blend of composition, lighting and colour treatment.