Wandering in Whitstable

With some good weather finally on the cards, I decided to take my camera on a trip to the seaside.  I had not taken many photos at the coast, and didn’t know my way around Whitstable, so the whole experience was a bit of an experiment.  I did a little research beforehand to try to pick up some hints and tips.  I was already aware that sunset and sunrise were likely to provide some great photographic opportunities, but neither were really an option for me.  That dawn shoot will have to wait until the sun gets up at a more respectable hour!  I did remember to check the tides, however, and chose to arrive when the tide was low (which also happened to be quite early in the morning, before the beaches became too crowded), hopeful that I might be able to find something interesting for the foreground of the photos.


It appears that I had the rule of thirds in mind when I was taking these photos – the horizon is not in the middle of the image but about a third of the way down.  When I looked at the pictures on the computer, I noticed that the horizon was not quite straight in a few of them, probably because I was half lying, half sitting, leaning on one elbow and therefore at a slightly strange angle; I’m still a bit self-conscious and didn’t want to draw too much attention to myself by lying flat on the ground, though I suppose if I was going to get away with that anywhere, it was at the beach!  I have tried to straighten everything out using processing software, with varying degrees of success.  I have also had to reduce the quality of the photos to make them web-ready, and so the sky looks a little pixelated, particularly if you click into the image to take a closer look.  Happy to say that this is not the case in the original Raw file!

Although Whitstable does not have long stretches of sandy beach, the colour and texture of the pebbles and the general orange glow appealed to me.

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This is known as The Street.  It is only visible at low tide and, according to Wiki, is about half a mile in length.  It’s quite the local landmark and vey popular; many of us walked along as far as we dared and one or two people even decided it was a good place for some sunbathing!

Another attraction is Whitstable harbour, which first opened in 1832.  It remains a bustling spot, the base for the Sea Scouts and Whitstable Yacht Club, and boasts a fish market and The Village, where local produce and the work of local artists are on sale.

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If you’re happy to walk, there are plenty of options.  I decided to head towards Tankerton and then continued on a little further, to the mud flats near Swalecliffe, but hastily beat a retreat when I inadvertently strayed onto the route of the Man on the Run charity event and found myself surrounded by men and boys of all ages, determined to complete their 5k run despite the heat.  I felt rather lazy in comparison!

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Just as I was leaving, I noticed the seagull in photos 3 and 5… and he noticed me.  He (okay, I’m assuming here – no idea if this was a male or a female!) was a patient subject but definitely a little wary and keen to keep an eye on me.  I struggled to find a point of interest towards the horizon in some of the shots so decided instead to focus on capturing the layers of colour.  Photo 4, whilst a little crooked, is an illustration of what I mean.


Finally, one of my favourite images.