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Locations in or near Essex for a week of photography?

Discussion in 'Photographic Locations' started by sensoryaphasia, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. I will make an intro post I swear! But for now suffice it to say that my favoured subjects are landscapes, animals, abstract and old/rusting/derelict type buildings or structures.

    I've got a week off next week and aside from looking after a friend's dog I've got an entire week to myself (which is a rarity) so it's time to get some hardcore photography in at last! I have a few locations in mind; the Dengie peninsular somewhere, the QE2 bridge, but I need some more! I will be getting a 77m ring for my filter holder in the next couple of days so I want to give that a work out taking some nice dramatic landscapes, experimenting with foreground interest and really thinking about composition, I also want to push the boat out and get some building/structure shots, some rusted old metal structures, abandoned hardware or crumbling stone buildings with a nice landscape behind them.

    Any suggestions?
  2. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Clacton, Walton & Frinton-on-Sea. The latter especially, it has a magnificent beach. Inland also in that area there can be some interesting little nooks & crannies.

    The northern part of south-east Essex, around Bradwell is worth a look.

    Around the edge of London, Ongar, Epping and up the border with Herts can be fruitful locations. You can then head east and do the areas bordering Suffolk.
  3. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    The Dengie coast is very open - take your thermals, especially if you are after early morning light! There's a semi-derelict campsite near the church St Peter on the Wall that might float your boat, or there's a surprising amount of RAF Bradwell Bay surviving despite having a power station built on it. However, a lot of it is being used as farm buildings so tread carefully - you might annoy a bloke with a 12-bore, especially in light of recent woes with metal theft.

    You can walk round a lot of the beach between Harwich and Dovercourt, and there's the fort on Beacon Hill - though it's now very overgrown and fenced off (doesn't seem to deter the spraycan brigade though).

    Jaywick is impressively derelict - apparently the most deprived part of Britain! - and there might be interesting stuff round Shoeburyness, though don't get shot or blown up by the MoD!

    Thaxted windmill is a cliche, as are Dovercourt's lighthouses, but they get to be cliched by being the right things in the right place.

    There's a lot of pillboxes round the Debden (rural one, not the London one) area as there was an airfield, plus a defensive stop line during the war. Also various airfields - look at the Airfield Information Exchange for details, I think Rivenhall has most surviving that is accessible.

    Hope that helps. Most important - show us what you get!

  4. Cheers both!!

    I've been to the Bradwell power station and the old abbey near there (http://www.flickr.com/photos/apexphotographs/9399814931/) didn't know about the other buildings etc... so that's a definite maybe!

    I really want to get into Dengie mostly just because it's supposed to be stupidly dark there due to the fact it's mostly empty in the right places! Is there somewhere along the coast where I can park up and spend a few hours walking along the beach?

    The RAF site at Bradwell sounds really interesting, so that'll be on my list! As for Jaywick... Where did it go?! That used to be our beach day location as a kid (I'm 24 now, so we're talking 10 years or so) went back there 18 months ago and it was just empty, run down and depressing. Such a shame, used to be such a nice beach (or so I remember).

    Epping is one of my favourite places nearby, the forest is really old but not overgrown so you can just ramble through the leaves rather than being stuck on a path. Hopefully I'll be whacking the mountain bike through there over the week too :D
  5. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    There's a car park of sorts -just some grass and a car park sign, IIRC - near St Peter on the Wall, you can walk up to the church and the sea wall from it in five minutes. There is beach to the north, on the power station side, it's mostly salt marsh to the East, but the sea wall goes on for miles. You can also get to the sea wall round the side of the power station (we did a circular walk) and I THINK there's some spare tarmac you could park on, but you'd have to hunt for it. The airfield is hard to miss, if you go to the power station you actually cross the runway after the memorial and the football club. I think for beaches you probably want to be north of the Blackwater?

    Yes, there is a great deal of bu**er all in Dengie, and it's all the better for it! Bizarrely, the very open landscape is less than forty years old - the lanes and fields were all lined with elm trees until Dutch elm Disease hit, but some of the smallest square fields may well be Romano British. It's a funny place, it feels twenty years ago.

  6. Excellent info, cheers!

    I visited the old nuclear power station with my dad on the hunt for Peregrines (Of which we saw zero), if it's the same power station you're mentioning then there is a proper visitors car park there, we did try to get round to the beach but we walked for about half an hour and couldn't see any way to get to the beach! We found the official footpath which was overgrown to the point of not being able to pass and we were separated from the estuary wall by a water filled ditch about 2 meters across so we gave up and went down towards Minsmere instead. Unless of course we went the complete wrong way...

    I will do a bit of google mapping to find these little car parks etc... cheers for that. Have you (or anyone else) photographed around Dengie at night? I love being out at night and I'm looking forward to the clocks changing so I can cycle home from work in the dark through the country park but standing around with camera kit all setup on a tripod makes me nervous! I know that no-one can catch me on the bike :D
  7. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Dunno about the way round the power station - we walked the other way from St Peters, and I can't remember how we got to the power station car park - but we did, so there must be a route! It looks quite clear on Google Maps aerial view, just to the East of the power station - maybe it's been cleared since you were there? Just to annoy you, we saw a peregrine - sitting on one of the pylons - and we weren't even looking for them!

    I've only ever been to Dengie in daylight, but I can't imagine anyone will be after your camera kit - why go hunting people when you could spend all night and not see anyone? Foxes or wildfowl maybe - perhaps wear something reflective so if anyone is lamping foxes you shine up like a beacon - but as far as I can see your only worry is Black Shuck, and I don't think he's been seen in decades. I bet the wildfowl will sound eerie whistling in at dusk, though!

  8. Why oh why did I google it.... http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Black_Shuck

    The thing is, I dont anticipate being attacked by a ghostly massive black dog but.... When you're out in the middle of nowhere it all comes from the mind! You think to yourself "I know nothing is going to happen, but what if it did? There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide and I cant fight a demon dog!" But anyway... :D

    Looking at google maps I can see where we went wrong now, looks nicely accessible as you say, although I'm now more drawn to Walten on the Naze, some nice looking scenery and maybe some fossils if I'm lucky, it's a good 90 minute drive each way though!
  9. Replying to my own thread but YOLO as the kids say....


    Interesting... Think I will have to head down south across the weather on Monday for some careful exploration! (If the bridge is even open...)
  10. George W Johnson

    George W Johnson Well-Known Member

    I know this is all probably too late but there are some great little places in Essex. As you can tell from my post, and my pics, I love shooting in Essex. Anyone mentions Essex and everyone immediately thinks, Romford and Harlow but it's a huge county with some stunning scenery. Luckily no one cares that much so anyone with a serious interest to shoot there gets the place to themselves!

    Mersea Island, get a cliche shot of the beach houses! Head west in West Mersea and shoot the boats in the Blackwater Estuary. You have the boat houses at the end of ricketty access piers that people use to get to them. The boat yards and the Oyster farms at West Mersea.

    River Chelmer along from Church Road, south of Boreham.

    My Pic

    Maldon, shooting off the pier where the statue is at sunrise on a misty day, then wait 20 minutes and shoot images of the old boats sitting Maldon harbour as the sun rises to bathe the town in warm orange morning light.

    My Pic

    The village of Danbury is really nice with a great view

    The Stort Canal between Much Hadham and Harlow is very picturesque.

    My Pic ( Yes that's about a mile outside Harlow! )

    Southend-on-sea, very early morning light at low tide, catch the boats.

    My Pic

    Head north from Southend-on-Sea to Lion Creek on Wallsea Island approch.

    My Pic

    Obviously Dovercourt/Harwich for the lighthouses...

    My Pic

    You have the church of Saint Peter on the Wall at Bradwell. Heybridge basin, the coast way from Brightlingsea all the way up to Harwich, passing through Jaywich ( fences on the beach protecting the dunes ), Clacton, Frinton, Walton, around The Dardenelles up to Harwich. You have Tollesbury, they have a wonderful red lightship docked in the creek all year round. Winvenhoe, with the view out to sea.

    It's not got the glamour of Buttermere or Rannoch Moor but like most quiet places, loads of opportunities if you're prepared to seek them out!
  11. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for singing the praises of my natal county so much more eloquently than I can.


    (one day I must explore some of that wonderful coast - where is the most exciting rusty junk, I wonder?)
  12. Mmmm rusty junk! One of my favourites! I was hoping to find some nice driftwood and what not along the coasts but no real luck there. Still, perhaps this will be up your street: http://www.flickr.com/photos/apexphotographs/8832590308/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/apexphotographs/8832706000/ both taken along the thames riverbank just by RSPB Rainham Marshes, quite a few massive chunks of drift wood, look like they came from a peir or other such structure and plenty of nice rusty bolts and chains that failed at holding them together! (You've also got the concrete barges further down but they aren't so easy to photograph without... well dying from soft mud and rising tides! Southend Peir also has some rust parts: http://www.flickr.com/photos/apexphotographs/sets/72157623770885639/ I'm not saying they're brilliant shots but you cant argue about the rust!

    Anyway... Was going to update the thread, got out to Mersea during the stormy weather and down to Walton in the rain later in the week as well as a blast through the forest on the mountain bike. Have yet to really go through the beachy photos and I'm a bit disappointed that the light was so bad so a lot of what I thought were good photos are actually not so :/ Still. I got out there and that's the most enjoyable part! Cheers for the locations guys, will definitely be going back to Walton, lovely place :)
  13. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    That looks like decent rust to me! I thought there were some U-boat wrecks up a creek somewhere but to my disappointment they turned out to be in Kent. Ho hum!

    Glad you didn't get blown away.


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