Margate Seafront: In pursuit of perfect reflections

Margate seafront reflections in the blue hour


I thought I’d share with you my pursuit of the above shot taken on Margate seafront at dusk. Those familiar with the area will know there is a small bathing pool on the beach that you can walk along at all but the highest tides which is where I (eventually) got these reflections. It did take me a few dedicated trips though to find it myself, as in the past I have tended to neglect Margate for the nearby beaches in Broadstairs which I am slowly correcting.


My first dusk shoot here. I arrived slightly too late and hence it was a bit dark which meant the Dreamland sign has blown out. It wasn’t a disaster though and I still like the shot despite the error technically. The wind was a bit too strong here also for mirror reflections but with a long exposure the lights look quite good in the water.


When I did finally explore one evening I found my way to the pool just a bit too late and with the wind slightly too strong for mirror-like reflections but the game was on. Over the next weeks and months I kept an eye on the forecast waiting for an evening with very low wind. With the location being quite exposed on the coast, these conditions didn’t occur that often and even when they were forecast to, the slightest side wind would make things ‘interesting’..!


Looking good. Just need to wait a few minutes for the rest of the lights to come on…

Not bad at all. Let’s try again with the light levels a little lower…

Margate seafront and Dreamland reflections

Where’d that wind come from? Still nice but not as uniform as before.


I was quite happy with these results but I would need to go back again for the panoramic view of the seafront. Shooting in the blue hour means there is a very small window to shoot in, usually I manage to just get the one view before the ambient light and street light levels are out of whack.

On the night I managed to get the panoramic at the top of the page the wind was nearly non-existent but even then the reflections changed around so much. As you can see below my first pano attempt was thwarted by the wind getting even lower and the even calmer reflections looking out of sync.


margate seafront panoramic


Now I wish the slightly longer reflections at the beginning of the pano would have remained for just a few minutes more..! It does give me another reason to come down here again though I guess. Wait for the sequel blog post: The pursuit of slightly short of perfect reflections…


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