Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea seems to be an enduring calling to many people when visiting the coast, certainly in the UK, but also, I suspect, around the globe. Every seaside resort I’ve ever visited has benches and shelters along the promenade, along harbour walls, and atop cliffs and promontories, for the purpose of providing somewhere to rest while looking at the ocean beyond. Coin-operated telescopes provide the means of a close-up inspection, should something interesting be present on the water. There are car-parks designed in a such a way as to provide access to the view without leaving the comfort of the vehicle (and in the UK, given our tendency to inclement weather, this is perhaps wise).

I remember as a child visiting the beach with my grandparents in the rain. We would just sit in the car, eat sandwiches, drink pop or hot drinks from a thermos-flask, and watch the tide come in or retreat. If the weather was favourable, we’d get to venture onto the sand with our granddad, while grandma remained in the car, often with the aim of building a sandcastle that we could then subsequently watch be destroyed by the incoming waves while we sat back in the car. The castle fallen, and night beginning to fall, we’d return to the caravan for cocoa and bed.

There’s definitely a draw to looking at the sea, even on a calm day. Something about being at the edge of the world and imagining what might lie beyond some distant horizon (usually Denmark in our case, given the east coast of England was generally our destination of choice). Often times it’s older people who seem to do this the most. Perhaps the sea offers a glimpse of something else, something poignant, something nostalgic. Or maybe they just need a sit down more than the young.

FILM - Together

Olympus 35RC & Eastman Double-X.

Taken on 13 September 2019


Ice cream

The ice cream stand on Mablethorpe promenade. It has a satisfyingly wide range of choices, including those oyster-shell wafers filled with soft-serve that always look really nice, but which I’ve never once had in my entire time on this Earth. I did buy an ice cream, a 99, but it was from another shop.

Also in shot is a ubiquitous seaside sight – the giant ice cream cone! 🙂

Anyway, the lady in the photo’s stripey top has come out nicely on the Double-X. Although the blacks look pretty deep, there’s still detail in there when you look closely.

Sadly, this was the last of my Secret Santa supply of this film, so I’ll need to buy some more.

FILM - Ice Cream Stand

Olympus 35RC & Eastman Double-X.

Taken on 13 September 2019


A quick post today as I have to go out. Here’re a couple of photos of the Coastwatch building on Mablethorpe’s north shore.

Not to be mistaken with Ghostwatch. 🙂

FILM - Coastwatch

FILM - Coastal breeze

Olympus 35RC & Eastman Double-X.

Taken on 13 September 2019

Seaside steps

FILM - Beach steps

This is the view looking north from the Lincolnshire seaside resort of Mablethorpe. There is a small promentory at this point on the shore above the outfall from The Cut, a drain that takes water from the surrounding low-lying countryside – mostly agricultural land – and this section of steps leading down to the beach is at the easternmost point.

The steps form part of an extensive system of coastal defenses that were built and strengthened following the devastating North Sea Flood that occurred in 1953. This winter storm hit on the night of Saturday 31 January and, coupled with a high spring tide, resulted in a storm surge of over 5 metres above the average sea level in some areas. Large areas of low-lying coastal land were deluged in the countries bordering the North Sea, particularly The Netherlands, where 1,836 deaths were recorded. Although loss of life was less severe in England and Scotland, there was still a tragic loss of 336 people. The flood waters reached as far as 2 miles inland in places and forced the evacuation of over 30,000 people from their homes.

The photograph below shows the outfall where The Cut enters the North Sea. This area is submerged at high tide.

FILM - At low tide

Olympus 35RC & Eastman Double-X.

Taken on 13 September 2019

High Bradfield church

A bit of a dip into the archives for today’s picture, which was taken two and a half years ago. This is a re-scan of the negative and it’s been cropped a little ro remove an overly large amount of featureless sky. I’ve posted a few other shots from this same roll in the past, including this one, which was taken a little further down the hill.

The light on the day it was taken was very flat. There was a hint of mist, but it was more of a haze, and didn’t manage to convey much in the way of atmosphere unfortunately.

This was the first time I ever shot HP5+ in 135 format and, to be honest, I was really disappointed. The shot here isn’t too bad, but many of them were just a bit dull and lacking in contrast. Keeping on the honest theme, I now realise that it was more a combination of the conditions and my photography that led to the unhappiness with the results. HP5+ has since cemented itself as my go-to black and white film, and I love the stuff.

FILM - High Bradfield church

Olympus 35 RC & JCH Street Pan.

Taken on 13 January 2017

Greco Brothers

One of my odd shots of nothing much in particular or, as I see it, a beautiful image of a box of ice-cream cones. I seem to have a penchant for this kind of ephemera. Most people would just pass it by but I like to think that, sometime in the future, it will provide a small piece of social history. Plus I like it as a photograph too. There’s no accounting for my taste!

The Olympus 35 RC has rendered the detail wonderfully. If I look at the full resolution scan I can read the writing on the British Standards kitemark at the bottom right of the window.

FILM - For that extra taste, that extra crispness

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 21 July 2019