Hartlepool’s Steetley Pier Long Exposure

This one was taken on a very chilly January Morning. Its a strange location this one, and not one I can say I was overly familiar with before resolving to get out of bed in the still hours of the night and head out on the off chance of getting a decent snap. The Pier is actualyl part of the Steetley Magnasite, also known as Hartlepool Magnesia Works and Palliser Works. I have no idea what these works were for, something to do with steel no doubt, but troubled times lead to the plants final closure in 2005 and it has proven popular with photographers ever since.

Now, as a newly savvy photographer I knew enough not to expect a brilliant sunrise this morning since the weather forecast was predicting cloudless skies, but I had been studying long exposures and had a particular, minimalist shot in mind, so conditions for me were perfect. I arrived with half an hour to spare with the tide still high, but moving back out so no danger of encroaching waves to freeze my feet. The natural light was such that I didn’t need my 10 stop hitech filter (newly acquired and as yet not really put to good use). This was a 70 second exposure, 18mm and F16. I was going to make a black and white image, but in the end I preferred this blue-toned one.

Steetley Pier in the cold pre-dawn light

Steetley Pier in the cold pre-dawn light

How to get there: Follow the A19 from the North, or the South and take Take Elwick Rd and Hart Ln to Middleton Rd/B1376 in Hartlepool.

Where to Park: Access to the pier is via an old railway tunnel on West Wiew road in Hartlepool. If you have a SatNav the postcode TS24 9LJ should take you the adjacent housing estate. Just park your car there then head toward the roundabout and turn left. If you are going early morning then you are best off taking a torch as the tunnel, unsurprisingly, is darkest just before the dawn.

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