Littlehampton, UK – East & West Beaches


It’s fairly easy to get decent photos of any beach, but it’s exceedingly difficult to get one that doesn’t look like every other beach shot. Exceptions generally have to do with the beach itself, rather than the photographer. Having grown up in a beach town and having learned to use the camera at the beach, I no longer try. Photos of water, sand, and sun like similar. People like them (because they like the beach) or they don’t. I take those shots, of course, but I almost never use them. (See below.) The water’s lovely, but in no way does it capture the sight, smells, and sounds of the sea. It’s just a photograph, after all.)

1-dscf8177A boat leaves the River Arun that separates East and West Beaches, heading to the English Channel, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014

The details that make beaches interesting, in my opinion, are the structures that comprise the beach. The grasslands that border West Beach in southern England, for instance, look very much like the surrounds of Delaware beaches here in the U.S.

1-dscf8092Walk-up to West Beach, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014. This slip of land also separates the beach from a local golf course.

1-dscf8156aMother and Daughter, West Beach, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014

1-dscf8172aMother and Daughter make their way, painfully slowly, among the rocks, West Beach, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014

1-dscf8227West Beach, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014

The two beaches here are separated by the River Arun, and at the shoreline are only a few dozen yards distant; however, they have different energies because East Beach is bordered by the boardwalk and the so-called Fun Park, as well as a few take-away restaurants, all of which add a bit of dynamism to the environs. West Beach, by comparison, is a tad harder to reach by foot and appeals more to those wanting on lie on the freaking rocks and absorb the sun. Beaches in Delaware, interestingly, have the same dichotomy, which gave me an odd sense of being at home when I was there.

1-dscf4667aLittlehampton Not-So-Fun Park, West Beach, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014

1-dscf4606Sand, West Beach, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014

There is actual sand, once you reach the water, in case you’re wondering. I understand why there’s rock instead of sand, but as a former beach kid, I wasn’t feeling it. The same is true of Brighton, which I like, until you make me sit on a bunch of stones.

Separating the beaches and splitting the town, so to speak, is the River Arun. Having lived near the coast for much of my life, I didn’t find it particularly interesting photographically, but here are some houses along the river that capture a bit of the quaintness you’d see in prettier cities … if you squint and don’t look at the foreground.

1-dscf8051aRiver Arun, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014

Here’s a structure over the river that I found interesting in that I couldn’t figure out what in the hell it once was. It’s not a great photo, but great photos take interesting subjects.

1-dscf4693aRiver Arun, Littlehampton, UK, July 2014

I’ll wrap up this series tomorrow, with shots of the downtown area and the friendly people you won’t encounter there. The fun part of street photography to me is capturing the looks I get by the few people who notice me. Despite what you might expect, people don’t frown at me because I’m shooting them. Hell, they can’t tell whether I am or not. I’m often not even looking at the camera; I’m looking at them. No, they are frowning at me. They also have the same expressions when I don’t have a camera. In terms of photography, people usually don’t care or don’t notice. In fact, the more people that notice you, the more antisocial the area tends to be (contrary to what logic may dictate). People don’t frown at cameras; they frown at the people holding them. They smile at cameras too, but only when held by people they don’t automatically dislike.

Want to tell what a place is like? Look at street shots. Tomorrow, view mine, and tell me what you think. I’ll post them without further commentary.

Ta, and goodbye, till then.