Postcard Pushpin: South Bay (Scarborough, England)

Photo taken: 19-July-2005
Location: Scarborough, England (South Bay)
About the photo: The town of Scarborough and the South Bay, shot from the North Bay. The North Sea is the body of water in the foreground. I took this picture almost right after we stepped onto the beach. I remember thinking that it reminded me a lot of photos that I had seen of Cinque Terre (a place that I have always wanted to visit).

My trip to Scarborough was not the first time I’d visited the English coast (I went to Brighton in 2003), but it was the first time I’d really spent some time on a beach in England. I didn’t lay out on the sand and work on my tan (I’m incredibly pale and almost always end up looking like a lobster after any attempt at “getting some sun”), but instead wandered the beach and town, taking it all in. A few things continue to strike me about Scarborough:

Colors: The use of colors was prevalent throughout Scarborough. This was certainly not a town that shied away from creativity! Few buildings or houses were “plain old” grey or white – almost all of them were painted or bricked in vibrant colors of red, blue, yellow, and green. It was refreshing and almost immediately put a smile on my face.

Atmosphere: Scarborough, particularly along the beach, almost feels like a carnival or circus. There are vendors selling sweet and savory treats up and down the beachfront road. The sound of children playing and splashing in the water echoed constantly. Even though the sun often disappeared behind the clouds, you would never have guessed it by the way the children were enjoying the beach. Up off the beach, most of the people I met were so pleasant and friendly – genuinely happy to meet me and give me pointers of where to get the best things around the town.

Photography: This might seem a little strange, it’s not a particularly “Scarborough” thing to create a memory from, but it was in Scarborough that I finally understood the concept of depth of field. Depth of field had eluded my grasp of photography for much of the first few weeks of my photography class (particularly how to achieve different depths of field) and, in Scarborough, my instructor sat down with me and walked me through not only the basics of depth of field, but how to accomplish great photos using it. It was, I remember, one of the key moments in my development in as a photographer. Much of my photography from the latter half of this summer study abroad program (after Scarborough) focused not on the sights that I saw, but rather on depth of field and other photography and architecture concepts as I worked to better understand them!

What amazing beachside towns have you visited?