The money shot..

Clacton on Sea 2003

So as the wet 'By Coastal' project continues I found myself South Eastward again only this time I took on the delights of Clacton on Sea.
I first frequented Clacton around the same time as Southend all those years ago when hair was my friend and food my enemy. Those days where a lot more simple, day trips to the sea side with a picnic and a small camera in a bag. Now its two bags, a dirty great tripod and a large format camera.
What I am finding most interesting is the difference in the coastline and how the light and sea changes, even after a few miles. Its also fascinating to see how the locals adapt and utilize the sea, building piers, fairgrounds and Candy Floss treats.
I think if I see this one right through it could be something, but lets not get carried away as I have only covered a small percentage of Britain's coast.
So back to Clacton. The wind blew and the rain turned to hail (you can always see it coming in when your on the coast), but of course that did not stop Doyle in his quest to find all things salty, especially after going into that famous umbrella shop in London (James Smith) and purchasing a custom made, wind proof, brolly with its carved handle in the shape of a ladies breast. My legs may have been wet, but my camera and head were dry.
My timing for the trip was perfect as all the pier rides where been rigged for the Easter weekend so there was no one around, that was until a group of around thirty kiddies ran past me and headed for the end of the pier and possible death by large brown waves.. But they all soon came back (too many to count so I can only assume) drenched to the core and wanting a group picture to put on Facebook. Didn't have the heart to tell them I was shooting film and had no intention of photographing the little buggers anyway, but I did pretend to take a picture just to get them to go away. And they did..
Usually when the wind, rain and dark cloth are in my face I erupt into a volcanoe of Northern rage, but today was different in that for some reason I remained calm looking forward to my coffee and oatcakes.
As the weather became 'unusable' I headed for the car, soggy but quietly content. But I wasn't ready to go home just yet and headed for Frinton, the last town attached by the Luftwaffe in 1944. Frinton on Sea is a beautiful little place with golden sandy beaches and some fabulous seafront houses and to be honest it was quite a surprise. As with Clacton pier, Frintons was being prepared for the Easter crowds and I walked through the amusements uninterrupted which was dark, and very eerie it has to be said.
I could see a storm front approaching and decided to make my way back. One rule I always follow is to make sure I have at least one dark slide left, just in case I see something worth capturing on my way homeward. As luck would have it the storm clouds gathered in just the right place and the sea darkened to dramatic effect. The slippy green jetty gave contrast and pleasing composition to the final image. I calculated my exposure and decided to add a couple of Neutral Density filters to blur the sea, but on opening my filter pouch a gust of salty wind took the filters from my hand and blew all twelve of them across the sandy beach. So deciding to scape the ND filter usage I said goodbye to a thousand pounds worth of filters, now scratched and sea bound, and made my image.

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