I hope this “locations” feature will become a recurring theme as I discover more places to hold photography sessions, so don’t worry if your favourite location is not mentioned here, it will turn up eventually!
1. The Seaside!
We are a seaside city, so naturally we have miles of coastline and beaches to enjoy! Don’t worry if you don’t like sand, there is the promenade, the pier, the lighthouse and lots of steps and low walls to sit on. The kids will probably want to play on the sand anyway and write their names in it so you may find yourselves outnumbered and outvoted on that matter. Further north along the coast there is Souter lighthouse and the Marsden cliffs.
2. The Riverside
The south riverside has views across to the University, the docks that host a variety of ships and other sea-going vessels and views of the Wearmouth Bridge. The north side again has views of Wearmouth Bridge, but it also has the National Glass Centre, St Peter’s Church, the University campus and the marina. Both riversides are home to an array of huge industrial warehouses and docks if you like the grungy urban look. It will be interesting to see how the riversides develop when the New Wear Crossing is completed in 2018.
3. The Parks
We have so many parks to choose from! Here are some of my favourites:
Mowbray Park: sadly this lovely city centre park has been getting a bad rep in the media lately but it is ideal for photography. It has a Victorian bandstand, a long avenue full of colourful flowers and decorative balustrades, a small pond overlooked by the Museum and has free hourly parking nearby.
Roker Park: located on the seafront, with dramatic cliff walls leading to the beach, manicured grassy areas, a play park and a small train ride.
Barnes Park 1: The “pretty” park. There is a children’s play area, a bandstand, lots of new decorative statues and seating, plus a little pond with ducks and bridges.
Barnes Park 2: The “wild” park. Lots of tall grasses, lots of nice trees, hills and pavements, a couple of little bridges. It’s also a minute’s walk away from my house!
Herrington Country Park: vast sweeping grasses, standing stones, a lake with geese, a skate park and an amphitheatre. Located on the A183 off the A19 it has a nice backdrop of Penshaw Monument, which brings me to my next point.
4. Penshaw Monument
Come on! Who doesn’t love a climb up “Pensher” hill?! There’s nothing like seeing this Grecian-inspired folly in the distance after a long journey and knowing you’re nearly home.
5. Sunderland Stadium of Light (outside)
For the die-hard football fans! There is plenty parking on non-match days and there are many photo opportunities outside of the building. From the gated reception area with the club crest above it, to the industrial riverside views. The white roof lattice-work makes for a nice backdrop against clear blue skies (well, we do get them occasionally!) and there are simple brick walls that form plain backdrops and provide some shelter should the weather turn inclement (more chance of that than blue skies).
What are your favourite places in and around Sunderland that you think would be a good photography location? Let me know in the Comments section below and I will include it in my next locations blog. Rural or urban, nowhere is too “unusual” or “weird” for a photography session!