Slaughden Quay

The last time I came to Slaughden Quay it was to eat fish & chips from one of the two great chippies in Aldeburgh, fending off the seagulls as I devoured the fruits of the sea!

This visit was different.  The chippies were closed and the sun was fading in the sky at the end of the day.  The East Coast is normally associated with the start of the day as the sun rises over the sea.  But I was looking for a classic sunset reflected in the River Alde looking back towards Snape.  A little cloud in the sky and I was ready.  The sun fell below the distant horizon and the sky lit up.

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I got back to the car by the beach as the stars started to shine and I looked out to sea – The Plough, Orion and more started to appear as I sat and watched the waves rolling onto the beach below.

Why not, let’s have a go.  I picked a spot, set up and started to take pictures.  Each one needing a longer and longer exposure as  the light faded.  I thought that the sea would merge into a uniform colour after a while but no.  Even at 8 minutes there were patterns emerging in the deep blue of the ocean.  I could hardly see what was going on, I couldn’t see anything in my camera’s viewfinder but it could see for me.

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I’m rather glad I stopped to watch the stars.  I think I’ll do it again some time…

My time on Slaughden Quay is part of a journey north along the Suffolk coast from Languard Point at the southernmost tip to its border with Norfolk.  Along the way I’ll be exploring, recording what I find and then sharing.  You can follow me on my journey by adding my blog to your feed, liking my Facebook page, circling me on Google+ or following me on Twitter.

Waves on the beach at Bawdsey


The last time I ventured out to Bawdsey the rain was pouring down, almost horizontally off the sea.  The wind whipped up patterns in the waves, shingle banks around the entrance to the River Deben forced them to break out to sea leaving patterns in their wake.  If the wind had been blowing from any other direction I’d have been busy but as it was it was coming straight at my lens and there are only so many time you can dry it.

Today the sky was clear and I had just the moon and the stars for company, as the sun rose the stars faded into the warming sky.  The tide was higher than I’d expected so the image I’d hoped to make would have to wait for another day, time to explore further along.

Bawdsey has a long history and it played a pivotal role in the development of radar that watches over us in so many invisible ways today.  Steel plates and girders have replaced many of the wooden sea defences protecting the sandy cliffs from crumbling into the sea.

As the sun rose its bright rays reflected from the waves, not the calm images I often look for so time to look for something different.  Looking away from the sun I stood and watched the waves break and rush up the beach before retreating back to the sea wrapping themselves around the stumps leftover from the old sea defences. Each wave leaving a different pattern.

Rather than freeze the motion I decided to let the pattern gently flow around the stump and back to the sea.  It was so bright I needed my neutral density filters to slow the shutter down for the effect I wanted.

My time on the beach at Bawdsey is part of a journey north along the Suffolk coast from Languard Point at the southernmost tip to its border with Norfolk.  Along the way I’ll be exploring and recording what I find and then sharing.