wells norfolk

Along the sea wall – pt 2

Estuary English

The rest of the shots from my evening walks along the sea wall between Heacham and Hunstanton in Norfolk. Plus a couple of others that snuck in from walks between Blakeney and Wells.

Shot on either 28mm or 50mm with a 5Diii.

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heacham and hunstanton norfolk

Along the sea wall – pt 1

Estuary English, travel photography

This year was the 60th anniversary of the great flood of 1953 that inundated large parts of the East Anglian Coast and the Thames Estuary, killing 307 people.

As part of the sea defences against a re-occurence of such tragedy, a long sea wall was built between Heacham and Hunstanton in Norfolk. It’s become a bit of a promenade, with people camping out on the beach, sitting on the steps or simply wandering along in the sunshine (or rain) between the small town of Heacham and the Victorian seaside resort of Hunstanton.  My eye is often caught by the way people gather together in little groups to look at the view – almost as if they’re posing for a family portrait….

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Black & White Landscapes

Estuary English

We managed a brief trip to the Norfolk coast this weekend and I was able to get out for a couple of walks with the camera. In the late afternoon I  walked out across the sandy mudflats, almost to the waters edge which was about a mile out, until the turning tide encouraged me back to the shore. In the right season, you can gather mussels and cockles here, and there’s plenty of evidence for razor clams but I’ve never managed to find live specimens. The next morning I was out at about 6.30 and the light was very different, flat and grey with little distinction between sea and sky.

I’ve photographed this stretch of the Wash many times before with my Mamiya 6, usually shooting FP4, and I’ve rarely been satisfied with the results. I’ve struggled to balance the exposure for sky and sea, or to cope with the vast open landscape that’s revealed by the receding tide. This time I took a 5Dii and a 28mm 1.8 and I’m much happier with the pictures.

Despite 30 years of shooting film, I slightly ashamed to admit that one of the most satisfying pictures that I’ve taken here was on my iphone with Hisptamatic… but this shot of the harsh evening light on the mudflats and sand is pretty satisfying.IMG_0964

Many people say that the Mamiya 6 and it’s 50mm lens is one of the sharpest available but I’m staggered by the quality of the Canon lenses: in the wide shot below I can actually recognise the group of people and the dog who are walking along the sea wall!

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This is the same view taken from slightly further out.

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One of the things I’m really enjoying about digital photography is being able to pre-visualise a shot and to quickly check that I’ve got what I wanted. For the shots below, I knew that the tones of the sea and sky could be controlled to  blend in a satisfying and subtle range of tones.

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As I turned for home, the sun rose above the low cloud layer and brought a very different feel to the scene. I shot some frames with the intention of processing them for colour rather than black and white.

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Canon 5Dii, 28mm 1.8. Silver Efex and Color Efex.