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

Tree, Horsham Park

Tree, Horsham Park, West Sussex October 2020

I may have posted pictures of this tree before – perhaps in a different season.

As I recollect it, I was sitting on a bench, when I thought the tree reminded me of a still life or perhaps a Chinese landscape painting. So I took a picture.

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.

Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach

Waves, Shreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

As you can see, the weather has changed on Shoreham Beach, where before it was calm and inviting, now it is much stormier, with quite powerful waves.

In the 1970s, surfing and skateboarding were very popular and whever I came to the beach, I hoped to see young people carving up the waves – but I never did. The problem is, the beach, it is quite steep – so the waves break onto the shore, rather than further out – which is what you need for surfing!

Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

As you can see here though, the beach does get used for kite surfing.

Kite Surfer, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

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

Yachts, Shoreham Beach

Yachts, Shoreham Beach September 2020

After 6 months of staying at home, I have started exploring further afield. In this case, about 20 miles away – so not that far! I used to live in Shoreham-by-Sea 40 years ago and whenever I go back I am reminded of what it was like as a child. The church at the end of my road, remains pretty much as I remember it, but the whole place looks neater than I remember it, perhaps everywhere was a bit scruffier in the 1970s.

The weather in the morning has turned much cooler in the morning, so I can definitely tell that Autumn is coming. But for now the outdoor cafes are open, people are still going for morning swims in the sea, and as you can see, people are sailing!

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.

Lightning, Batu Ferringhi

Lightning, Batu Ferringhi 2014

“Crash!”, it was the middle of the night and my bedroom ceiling was lit up as if it was day time. And when the thunder sounded, it shook you as lay there. My adult brain knew I was safe, but there is a difference between knowing something and feeling it.

I used to live here, with a view of the sea. In good weather, the sea had a green/blue tinge to it. When there was a storm, it was dark green. I lived near the top of a high block of flats with a front row view whenever a storm came in.

In Malaysia, they have big tropical storms, with finger sized drops of rain and thunder which you can feel, even from a long way off. As I remember it, I was woken up by the lightning first, which lit up my bedroom. Then, I think my wife and I went into the livingroom to watch the light show.

I put my camera on a tripod and kept taking long exposures (several seconds each time) until the lightning flashed. I tweaked the photo to be a little darker, because the brightness looked too unreal.

Morning Sun, West Sussex

Morning Sun, West Sussex August 2020

How has your life changed in the last few months?

One of the things I like about life now, are my early morning walks on the parkland near where I live. When I was working, my morning was dominated by my need to get to work – which was always some way away from where I lived. And I’m sure lots of people who lived miles away would have rushing to get to work near where I lived.

Anyway, a pleasure of the last 6 months has been the change from spring into summer. It has got light earlier and earlier and, obviously, warmer too.

A challenge of this photo is the change from the original to this form – for some reason, the shadows looked “richer” if that makes sense. I still like the effect of the light on the grass and the gravel.