Clacton-on-Sea – Project


Having taken some time to reflect on the feedback from Strategies and Surfaces especially about focusing on a single subject I decided to put that into practice in the next instalment of work for my main project Tilbury to Harwich. The development of the Essex coastline can be linked to Londons taking summer holidays at seaside towns such as Clacton-on-Sea which grew rapidly with the advent of the train service from Liverpool Street.

Equipment Used

Based on the equipment used for the Filter House I decided to focus on using a DSLR with a range of lenses to allow me to alter my gaze of the peer.


Clacton Peer is a large structure stretching 150 metres into the North Sea. I decided during the shoot to explore two different approaches and determine which one provided me with a method that I could replicate for the other seaside towns on the Essex coast. The first approach was to take images that would allow me to capture the  whole of the pier. The second was to focus in on details of the pier’s structure.

Strong Image

When piers were first created for pleasure they were sold as a way for people to experience being surrounded by the sea without getting seasick from the motion of the boat. The deck of piers was made of wood similar to ships of that era. given the age of the pier I was interested in the state of the wooden decking of the pier and took a series of images that reflected the current state of the peer.

Clacton-on-Sea Walking the Pier

The other image that I felt was interesting was the images of the superstructure of the peer that supports the promenade deck.

Clacton-on-Sea Under the Pier

Weak Image

The images that recorded the peer a a large single structure did not feel as effective as the images that focused on the details. I think this might partly explained by the approach I used to capture the peer. Possibly using the different gaze might have resulted in me having a different connection with the pier though I feel it partly due to not having a clear intent for the image that would encourage the reader to engage with the image.

Clacton-on-Sea Pier

Research References

In preparation for the shoot I did some research on the history of piers in general specifically pleasure piers (, 2017) that were built for people to enjoy being surrounded by water without experiencing the rocking motion of a boat. Then some specific research on the pier at Clacton-on-Sea (, 2017) and the history of the pier and the nature of it’s construction.

Assessment of outcome

Overall I was happy with the initial set of images recorded at Clacton Pier especially those images that focused in on the detail at the pier and it’s structure. Though a couple of additional trips are required to capture further detail of structure especially at low tide as the high tide masks detail that is potentially interesting.


  • (2017). Pier. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct. 2017].
  • (2017). Clacton Pier. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct. 2017].

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