Dave's photograph received so much engagement and interest when we shared it to Instagram, we had to get in touch so that we could ask how he created this shot.

- Technical info -

Film Used

ILFORD XP2 Super 120


6x6 Medium format


Mamiya 6


55mm f4

Exposure time

4½ minutes

Other equipment

Benro Tripod


New Brighton beach lighthouse, Merseyside.


Black and white lighthouse looking over a rocky sea, and soft clouds in the background shot for How I got this picture series on ILFORD Photo website by - David Jones


Firstly, tell us the story behind this image. What inspired you to shoot it?

I was working in New Brighton for a client (I’m a professional photographer) and after the shoot I noticed a storm coming in and the light looked incredibly dramatic. I grabbed my film camera and headed straight for the beach. The tide was out so I could get close to the lighthouse and fill the square frame keeping the lighthouse central. I took 3 shots, one using the cameras internal meter, one long exposure and one more frame to the side where a rainbow had appeared. I used ILFORD XP2 super because I think it’s a fantastically versatile film with excellent latitude. As the clouds where so fast moving I wanted to see what a long exposure would result in.

Did you come across any challenges?

During the 4 ½ minute exposure the storm arrived at my location and the final 2 minutes I had to try and guard the camera from the high wind and hail. I wasn’t sure if the image would remain sharp.

What process did you use (Tripod? Set exposure time? Filters?)

I used a tripod, cable release, 10 stop ND filer and a red filter. I used a phone app to get a basic exposure and then another app for the filters and reciprocity.

How did you process it?

I used a lab to process the film, ILFORD XP2 is great as it is a C41 processed film and any lab can process it. The lab also scanned the negatives for me and the image was lightly edited in Lightroom. Just a little contrast and a very light vignette. Nothing more than what I would have done in a traditional darkroom.

What about printing?

I am yet to print the shot, I'd love to print it in a darkroom, like I used to but I don’t have the means these days.


Image © David Jones