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Kent Coast and Landscape Photography

behind the shot – viking bay tidal pool

There are numerous tidal pools on the Isle of Thanet in Kent which are fun to photograph. This paddling pool off of the Broadstairs coast at Viking Bay is one of the more innocuous ones and is very easy to pass by as it gets completely submerged at high tide. I first set my sights on photographing this scene because of the interesting shapes to use. The symmetry of the pool with the two little blocks that stick out make it unique and the position of the sea post beyond is an important compositional element too. I did my research and I found that the ideal tidal range looked to be an hour or so before/after high tide. This would reveal the outline shape of the pool and the top of the larger rocks in front whereas at low tide the extra features can look cluttered and distracting. The view faces east which is ideal for sunrise but it would make planning for this shot that little bit harder and uncertain. See the images below..! On the morning that this shot was made the light and tides had coincided nicely. There was the right amount of cloud to hold in […]

Botany Bay, Broadstairs

For this blog I’ll go through some of my best shots from Botany Bay on the Kent coast. Botany Bay is one of seven sandy beaches in the town of Broadstairs on the Isle of Thanet. It is an especially good sunrise location and one which I have regularly visited over the years and continue to.         One of the reasons I like this location so much is its potential for an uncluttered, minimalist shot. With this example above, I was able to strip the scene back completely to include just the elements I wanted of sea, cliffs and sky. It was a very high tide that morning so by going in a few feet I was able to fill my foreground with water. An exposure time of 15 seconds has made the water smooth and reflected the colour in the sky. I positioned the cliffs to the right hand side and tried to make an interesting shape out of them. Now, it gets a little trickier with the final element of the sky. Between the months of March – October, the sun will rise out to the left of the cliffs from this view. If the […]

Greatstone to Dungeness Day Trip

Thanks for visiting and reading my write-up of a recent dawn to dusk photo trip. I’ve included the best photos from the day which started in Greatstone and ended in Dungeness as well as my favourites from earlier trips to give readers a more rounded view of the locations. Hope you enjoy..!   Greatstone is a coastal village on Romney Marsh which I like to visit for it’s sand dunes. The dunes are not as tall as those found at nearby Camber Sands but it is a much quieter and more peaceful location. The beach faces due east so it is a perfect sunrise spot all year round and therefore an ideal place to start this morning.     I arrived before dawn, hopeful of a colourful sunrise like the one I encountered above on a previous trip. That morning was also quite special because of the ‘sandblasted’ beach caused by the receding tide, I haven’t come across this again. The sunrise on this Saturday morning however was one of those ‘nothing special’ occasions. I used this time instead to test out my new 2x teleconverter for my 70-200 lens by looking south towards Dungeness. Unfortunately most of these shots […]

Folkestone Photographic Guide

    Folkestone is an increasingly popular town on the East Kent coast which I have visited many times and so I thought I would share my tips for any visiting photographer. The main areas can be broken down into three sections; the harbour arches at Sunny Sands the harbour arm and lighthouse   The harbour   The rows of brightly coloured fishing boats in the harbour can make for an attractive shot from either direction. My favourite image here was taken just after sunrise with the old railway bridge which intersects the harbour beautifully side lit by golden light. The harbour can completely empty out at low tide which is something to beware of if you are interested in shooting reflections. Blue hour shots can also work well here using the illuminated town and seafront restaurants in the background.           Arches at Sunny Sands beach   The arches underneath the promenade on Sunny Sands beach are ideal for when the weather or light is not the best. Typical shots include shooting through the gaps to show the arches fade off into infinity, also shooting out to sea towards the harbour arm can work well. The […]

Margate Seafront: In pursuit of perfect reflections

  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.     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’..!     I was quite happy with these results but I would need to go back again for the panoramic view of the seafront. Shooting […]
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