Essex and Suffolk in one morning - 5 September 2017
An early start from home found me on the beach at Dovercourt, Harwich, Essex by 6.30 am. I have previously visited this site and taken long exposure images of the lighthouse in the sea. On this occasion I made a point of also capturing images of the land-bound lighthouse. The lighthouses are curious Victorian relics that would make a good setting for a Steampunk gathering. At low tide it is possible to walk out to the further lighthouse, but this time I was glad that it was isolated in the water, as it aided composition. If you wish to walk out to it at low tide be careful of the slippery rocks and mud. The lighthouses, groynes, groyne markers, waves and the ripples in the exposed sand aid the exploration of numerous compositions juggling the various elements here.
From Dovercourt I then travelled the 40 odd miles to Felixstowe (although the distance is only about 2 miles if you could fly across the estuary) to check out the recently completed sea defences. These concrete structures stretching out to sea were built at a cost of £10m and seem to have become a magnet for photographers. They make an excellent subject for long exposure images where the movement of the water is reduced or completely wiped out. I was no exception and took a number of such images. At mid or low tide the defences can be photographed from the beach. However, at higher tide levels the best place to obtain your images is from the top of the seawall and the substantial collection of rocks in front of the wall. Be aware that this involves climbing the wall (about 4 feet high) and possibly clambering over the rocks. Take care!
The final venue of the day was Landguard Point. This is the most southern point of Felixstowe and from here it is possible to look out over the water to Felixstowe Container Dock and all the ships that use it. It is only about a 3 mile drive from the sea defences. I can recommend a walk along the beach away from the container dock as the nature reserve has coastal scenes, some wildlife and an interesting ruined wooden jetty structure.