Last weekend I was out mucking about with the sea and my friend Mr P. Unfortunately the weather didn’t co-operate so instead of photographing a stunning sunrise we found ourselves sheltering beneath Clacton Pier. It was still wet (this pier drips much worse than a lot I’ve been beneath) but better than on the beach.
So as the dogs made it their mission to run a marathon up and down the beach, we set up for some long exposures. The conditions under there were pretty dire for photography in many ways, wet, very dark (making focusing difficult) but with points of extreme brightness and a creeping tide. I’m rather paranoid about tides coming in. I’m obsessed with a fear that I’ll get cut off by the tide while concentrating on a shot. In fact I worry about this so much I won’t even wear wellies normally, preferring to wear hiking shoes on the grounds that even I shouldn’t be able to ignore wet feet while looking through a lens.
One thing that always takes people by surprise is how pier pylons make waves bounce about and strange localised currents to form. I really wouldn’t want to be in that water believe me. In fact a couple of teenagers were killed while tomb stoning off this very pier a few years ago. That said I love the creeping misty effect you can get under there with a long exposure.
Earlier this week the north of England and Scotland was hit by a sting in the tail from the departing winter. Snow, hail, high winds, the whole lot battered the country. Being right on the coast we usually escape the worst of the weather snow wise although I did have to fight my way through a blizzard into the shops. One thing that high winds, from the right direction, can do it whip up the sea. So when I was able to get a couple of hours to myself I headed down to Seaham Harbour.
For obvious reasons I wasn’t allowed out onto the pier, but to be honest even I’m not that daft just to get a photo. I was able to get down onto the sand between the inner and outer harbour walls which is where this shot was taken. The workers from the marina currently being built did point out that they wouldn’t be coming to my rescue if I got into trouble. I don’t really blame them as the wind was howling and truly bitter, for the first time ever I was genuinely worried that my tripod might get blown away. Sea Spray was everywhere and I spent as much time trying to clean my lenses as actually taking shots. I don’t know what it is about harbours, piers and lighthouses, but I can’t get enough of photographing them.