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If you ever have to go to Shoeburyness
Take the A road, the okay road that's the best
Go motorin' on the A13
Billy Bragg - A13 trunk road to the Sea
Well I took the A127 but I know what you mean Billy! Shoebury sits past Southend at the end of the Thames Estuary. Whilst not the most glamorous location an early morning or late evening trip can produce some nice images.
Shoebury has two beaches East & West, West beach is really just a continuation of the rest of southend sea front but can be a little quieter and in the summer the sun sets out to sea.
East Beech is a favorite location of mine, mainly due to the fact that in winter-time the sun rises out to sea from East Beach. So far I have only visited when the tide is out, as this allows you to get out on the mud flats and photograph the boats that are stranded by the receding tide. There aren’t huge numbers of these boats in the winter, but they do make for a great focal point.
In addition to the boats there is the huge WWII anti submarine fence, which extends for over a kilometer into the estuary – this can make for an unusual background or a feature in itself. Though do not walk far beyond the fence as it marks the edge of the MOD firing range!
If you intend to go out on to the flats then a few words of warning are in order. Take wellies as the mud can be quite deep in places and boots are easy to lose. Keep an eye on the tides as the flats are very shallow and it’s quite easy to walk a long way out and find yourself having to wade back!
For some strange reason the morning light at Shoebury plays merry hell with my auto white balance.
First time out everything came out in shades of brown even though it was a pink sunrise – second time I was watching for it and could actually notice it happening on the rear LCD. So if ever there was a good case for shooting Raw then Shoebury is it!
See more photography by Chris Shepherd at Shepherdpics.com
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