View From Gurney Drive, Penang

View of Straits Quay from Gurney Drive, Penang – January 2016

Years ago, I lived in Penang. On a Wednesday afternoon after work, I used to walk from Island Plaza into George Town – where I would usually have my dinner. At the time, I believed that this was a fair way, but looking back, I can see it was only a few miles. I used to love this view across the bay to Straites Quay and on this occasion, I think the clouds look quite impressive. On other occasions, there were huge storm clouds which warned of bad weather ahead.

Straits Quay, Northam Beach, Penang – August 2013

I know that this view has gone now – the beach has been drained and the land reclaimed for building. One day, I hope to see what it is like now.

Yachts, Shoreham Beach

Yachts off Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020

During October, we had some lovely weather in Shoreham, which made it feel like a gradual change from summer into autumn. At the time, the COVID number had slumped and people felt more comfortable being away from home. As you can see, the Sun shone and lots of people took the opportunity to take their yachts for a cruise off the coast

Yachts, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020

Thanksgiving, Shoreham Beach

Swimmers, Shoreham Beach November 2020

I was going to write about life on the beach – but then I noticed the date – and decided that I would write about Thanksgiving instead.

In the UK we tend to slowly take on things from the US – liablity lawyers, Adam Sandler – all the good stuff. But I do think we should get the British Museum to borrow Thanksgiving from the US and forget to return it – or take molds from it so we can cast our own.

I think in the UK we do lots of things well, but if we had this holiday, it would help us to recognise them too and then maybe when New Year’s Day comes around we wouldn’t feel quite so down.

In a moment I will go for a late night walk and think about things I should be grateful for – what would you choose?

Morning Walk, Shoreham Beach

Walking along the Beach, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020
Further Down the Beach, Shoreham Beach 2020

How do you feel about mornings?

When I was a student, there were mornings when I didn’t get up until almost lunchtime and being particularly self-aware, I didn’t think this was particularly strange. Then I joined the working world and waking at 6 o’clock for a commute to work. Then in later years, rising at 5 o’clock for an even longer commute to work, watching the Sun rise by the time I got there.

Yesterday, I had some business in Shoreham, so I got up extra early so I could go for a walk on the beach before my meeting. There was a clear sky and the air felt cool. In front of me I could see a couple who had come bundled up, apparently fresh from bed. If I were a little more social (and the times were a little more social too), would have liked to know a little more about them. But I didn’t, so they wandered off to the water’s edge and I walked along the beach to take some longshots of the waves breaking onto the shore.

Technical Details

I have taken photos of Shoreham Beach for a few weeks, trying different cameras to see which work best. For these photos I was using a Sony RX10. I used this because I wanted to be able to use a telephoto lens to “compress” the beach, which tends to make the waves look a little larger and more dramatic. Another benefit, is that it has the longest lens I own, so i could take photos of ships and yachts a little way out to sea. And lastly, because the camera is an all-in-one, I don’t have to change lenses, which on a beach is inviting trouble with sand and salt water. My only disappointment, is the flare on the second photo, which I am trying to convince myself adds atmosphere.

Shoreham Beach, West Sussex

Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

Shoreham Beach is a pedestrian bridge away from Shoreham-by-Sea and I suspect during storms, parts of it get a bit closer.

After a few glorious, almost July-like days, the weather has finally turned and begun to cool down. On this occasion, the tide was out, so I got to walk on sand for a change. Here, the tide makes a huge difference to the beach, the sea being 40m further up the beach at high tide (maybe higher). On this occasion, there were still plenty of paddleboarders cruising along the coast, but fewer bathers.

Paddle Boarders and Bathers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

Worthing Pier, West Sussex

Fishermen, Worthing Pier, West Sussex September 2020
View of Worthing Pier, West Sussex September 2020
Worthing Pier, West Sussex September 2020

It is strange how seasons change from the edges, the mornings and evenings are much cooler than they were mid-summer and obviously it gets darker much earlier. But as you can see, during the day it is still warm and might even be mistaken for a summer’s day.

Piers were a Victorian fad, with seaside towns competing to have the longest. As the years have passed, most have fallen into disrepair, but a few, such as Worthing Pier have remained. Given that they stand in the sea and are subject to storms, they require fairly continuous maintenance.

Worthing Beach from pier, West Sussex September 2020

Shoreham Beach, West Sussex

Early Morning, Shoreham Beach September 2020

In a change to my usual routine, this morning I drove to the beach, which is about half an hour from where I live. It was still quite cool, but the Sun was very bright, making it hard to take photos. As you can see, some people were in the water although it looked quite cold.

Shoreham’s beaches are quite steep pebble beaches, which give a distinctive sound as waves break quite close to the shore. It also makes it quite easy for waves to catch you unexpectedly if you are paddling in the shallows.

On the Beach, Newquay

On the Beach, Newquay 1992

I photograph on the beach – a lot. Judging by the number of people trying to shift “water-damaged” cameras on eBay, I’m not alone.

Beaches are always changing. If you want to photograph wildlife, go early in the morning. If you go in the late afternoon, you will probably see a different kind of “wildlife’.

I think this was my first real summer holiday on my own. I just loaded up my car and got to know all my tapes really well. I think this was an early morning walk. I’m not quite sure why the JCB is carving the sand, but those people don’t seem to want to move.

This is a scan of some 35mm FP4+. I was still finding my way with developing and promoting. The clouds look good, but I needed a bit more in the shadows.

What else do I remember? Trying my hand at surfing. That feeling when you catch a wave. Scrambled eggs for breakfast. The long drive home.

Walking on the Beach, El Salvador

LaLibertad, El Salvador 2007

It occurs to me that of my favourite photographs, nearly all the landscapes are seascapes. I wonder why that is?

Once upon a time, I used to live in El Salvador. I went to live in the country, knowing almost nothing about it, save that they had a very violent civil war a decade or so before.

When I lived there, at weekends, I would sometimes go to the beach (many middle-class Salvadorians keep a simple beach house) at the weekend. Which was the first time, I saw the Pacific Ocean.

First Time in the Pacific, 2007

On the Pier – Bognor Regis

View from the Pier, Bognor Regis 2019

An obvious view of beach at Bognor Regis.

It was a gorgeous week day, when I caught the train down to Bognor. I intended to test a film camera, but it promptly jammed – which old cameras will do. So it was iPhone time instead. I like the neat, fluffy white waves which have been frozen as they roll on to the beach.