I’ve been finding it hard to get out and about taking photographs recently. I did have plans for the Spring involving bluebells and daffodils, but so far neither of those landscapes presented themselves to me with camera in hand. Work has taken up a lot of my time and so it was a great pleasure to take the decision to simply drop everything and head out in search of the next flower on my hit list: Poppies. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of poppy fields near me. I had heard that Sedgefield could prove fruitful (indeed the scene of my last outing were I photographed this golden field of rapeseed), however try as I might I could see nothing. I quickly found myself driving through Sedgefield and past Wynyard Park with no ideas of what to shoot. Ordinarily at this point I would turn South and head back into Middlesbrough, but instead I turned North, aimlessly driving up the A19 scanning the fields either side of me for any sign of the Red Stuff, to no avail. Soon I was approaching the Hartlepool turn-off and and my thoughts turned elsewhere. The Hartlepool Marina has long been on my shot list and the gentle breeze and soft early evening light looked like I might have an ideal opportunity.
And so it turned out. I’m not overly familiar with Hartlepool, but the Marina is well signposted and I headed towards Navigation Point, passed the diving club on the right, parking outside a row of shops and assorted eateries. It was around 8pm so I didn’t have to pay to park. There were a few people around, and the walk around the Marina is a simple one; although the Lock had me confused for a few moments, uncertain whether I would be able to wind my way through it.
There were some impressive boats anchored in Hartlepool Marina, belying the overall impression of Hartlepool as a working man’s town. Frustratingly I was unable to get down to the boardwalks for a closer look – all the gates were closed and padlocked (didn’t fancy trying to jump it).
At the back of the Marina there is a Premier Inn and a large carpark I strayed into that territory for little while (guess I was following the Sun) and had a run-in with some locals who thought I was Chris Martin from Coldplay. (Or they just thought they were being funny!). I soon left them to it and headed back to the Marina to take this shot. Very Cosmopolitan I have been told. I hope you like it.
f11, 1/20th / ISO 100 10mm