Whitby Gothic Weekend April 2023

Whitby Gothic Weekend April 2023

The Whitby Gothic Weekend returned on the last weekend in April and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. Some years I try and attend both the April and October Goth Weekends but I had missed the event in October 2022. I’ve noticed that as the event continues to grow it can often be hard to find reasonably priced accommodation. Accommodation providers in Whitby seem to use the event as an excuse to massively hike prices and so I usually find myself booking accommodation in Scarborough and driving in to Whitby both Saturday and Sunday.

Whitby Gothic Weekend 2023 – April Photos

Over the years that I have attended the Whitby Gothic Weekend I’ve adapted and adjusted my method of shooting street portraits. When I first started attending I would use a standard zoom lens, something in the region of a 28-75mm which would have a maximum aperture of f2.8. The benefit of using a zoom lens was being able to adjust your composition quickly in what can be very tightly packed and narrow streets in Whitby. The flexibility of the zoom allowed me to do two things:

  1. Allowed me to photograph both small group shots and individual head and shoulder portraits with the same lens.
  2. Allowed me to get full body portraits to include features like boots and certain costume details below the waist. At the same time I could then zoom in to get the head and shoulders portrait.

In the last couple of years though I have switched to using prime lenses. The reason for the change is that I just prefer the look of images with a more shallow depth of field. With the prime lenses I bring I’m typically working at apertures of f1.4, f1.6, f1.8 and f2.0. The two focal lengths I bring to the Whitby Goth Weekend are a 45mm and an 85mm. The 85mm gets the most use as I shoot more head and shoulder type portraits. The 45mm will be used for groups or full body portraits. Working at these wide apertures can present a problem though. The shallow depth of field means in a group shot not every person’s eyes will be sharp. I have to remember to switch to something like f4 for group shots.

Most of those who attend the Whitby Gothic Weekend are very happy to pose for photos. However I’m very aware that they get lots of requests so I like to try and work quickly and not take up too much of their time. Luckily the Sony mirrorless camera I use has lots of advanced features that both allow me to work quickly but also concentrate on the image taking rather than camera settings. The autofocus in particular is incredible, human eye-AF rarely fails to find and focus on the subjects eyes. Exceptions to this can sometimes be when the model is wearing dark glasses or on occasion hats with netting that cover both eyes can make the system struggle. The amazing autofocus technology on modern cameras though is very welcome though as my eyesight isn’t perfect.

The following is just a very small selection of my images from the April 2023 event. Click on any image to see a full screen version. I post most of my images on my Facebook and Instagram pages. For this website and my social media channels I only upload low resolution images. These are small file sizes that load quickly but they still look good on most screens. If someone wants to get a print of a photo I have taken I ask them to contact me directly and I can forward them a high resolution copy.

Whitby Gothic Weekend October 2023 – Will I Attend?

I haven’t yet booked any accommodation for the Whitby Goth Weekend that will take place at the end of October. I’ve been quite busy with my businesses (photography is just a hobby) and there are a number of other events I’m hoping to attend and photograph over the summer. I’ve been keeping the dates free in my diary though and when I have more time I hope to find and book some reasonably priced accommodation within a 30-40 minute drive of Whitby.

If you like my style of portraits and would like to work with me please get in touch. Meeting up and working one-to-one allows a far greater selection of poses and perhaps locations than can achieved in the manically busy streets of Whitby during the Gothic Weekend.

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