Not far from London or Essex. Some interesting seaside venues, such as Southwold or Aldeburgh or the delights of Constable country slightly inland.
- What to Shoot: Boats on the beach, the pier, lighthouse, beachhuts or scenes in the interesting High Street.
- Comment: Southwold is a lovely little town on the east-facing Suffolk coast. In addition to having the best kept pier in the country, it also has Adnams Brewery, a picturesque lighthouse and what must be the most photographed set of beach huts in the U.K. Get here early for the best light, ease of parking and lack of crowds. After you have spent a few happy hours taking photographs there are many restaurants to choose from for lunch.
- What to Shoot: Boats on the beach, the moot hall, the Martello tower and the scallop (a memorial sculpture, on the beach, to the composer Benjamin Britten who lived here). The hardy plant life growing on the beach can make for excellent foreground interest in your photographs.
- Comment: Aldeburgh is a small town on the east-facing Suffolk coast, on the river Alde. Whilst it has a history dating back to the 16th century much of the architecture was built in the 19th century. Sir Francis Drake's galleon the Golden Hinde was built in Aldeburgh. The Aldeburgh Moot Hall is a Grade I listed timber-framed building which has been used for council meetings for over 400 years. There are a number of restaurants in the High Street as well as a notable fish and chip shop. Owned and run by the Cooney family since the 1970s, it has been described in The Times as "possibly the finest on the east coast".
- Type: A small settlement of about 20 residents
- What to Shoot: St. Andrew's Church which is notable for being a "church within a church". The beach which is a short walk to the east of the church along a path through a pig farm.
- Comment: Covehithe prospered in the middle ages and was considerably larger than what now remains. The cause of its decline was coastal erosion which has been, and continues, to eat away at the land and encroach on the remaining fields and buildings. It is this sad history that makes this an interesting area for the photographer. The original medieval St. Andrew's Church proved too costly for the dwindling population to maintain and in the 17th century permission was granted to demolish it and build a smaller church within the ruins. It is possible to photograph the "new" church through the ruined window of the earlier building. Erosion has made the beach photographically interesting as the fields to the north of where you emerge on the footpath are falling into the sea. If you walk far enough you come across tree roots and other detritus that make for interesting compositions.
- Location: Oulton Broad, Lowestoft
- Type: Large lake to the west of Lowestoft used for powerboat racing
- What to Shoot: Powerboats at rest and on the move.
- Comment: I do not know much about Oulton Broad as I have only visited here to see and photograph the powerboat racing that takes place many Thursday evenings throughout the summer. You stand behind the waist high railings beside the lake and the boats come hurtling past you, very close and at great speed. It makes for an enjoyable and photographically challenging time. The entry fee is relatively modest.
- Type: Seaside town and site of Britain's largest container dock.
- What to Shoot: Sea defences and general coastal scenes at Cobbold's Point. Huge container ships and cranes in the container dock from Landguard Fort.
- Comment: The recently built sea defences at Cobbold Point are now a popular photographic subject. They can be shot from the beach or from the top of the wall that rises above and behind them (but be careful of slippery rocks). Long exposures, using a big stopper filter, can be very effective. Being on the east coast means that sunrise can also make for interesting lighting. Landguard Fort is a scheduled ancient monument and visitor attraction with a nearby 80 acre nature reserve. It was built in the 18th century and continued in use to the latter part of the 20th century and is now in the care of English Heritage (open in the summer with an entry fee). However, for photographers it is the fact that the Felixstowe Container Port can be viewed from nearby beach that is of interest. The impressive array of cranes, numerous containers and vast ships make interesting subjects.
- Location: Shingle Street, Suffolk (8 miles south of Woodbridge).
- Type: Extensive gravel beach in isolated position with various buildings along the top of the beach.
- What to Shoot: The gravel beach at any state of the tide. The desolate looking buildings make a good backdrop to the gravel or a subject in their own right.
- Comment: On my first acquaintance with this beach I wondered whether or not I would obtain any worthwhile images. However, first appearances can be deceptive and I soon discovered that the play of the tide makes for an interesting lagoon in amongst the gravel that at times is full of seawater and other times a mud-fringed pond. The area is very suitable for long exposure, monochrome photography so that the lagoon is reduced to a milky white substance acting as a contrast to the gravel beach and isolated buildings. To date I have only visited on 3 occasions and each time stayed on the beach in front of the coastguard cottages. However, I understand that further along the beach, to the north, is a Martello tower. On two of my visits I observed a seal swimming about the lagoon.