Steetley Pier Autumn Sunset

Hartlepool, Saturday 1st October 2016

I found myself at a loose end and saw the late afternoon sky looked promising, a trip to nearby Steetley pier was in order for some fresh air and hopefully some good photography conditions.

The Shots

Steetley Pier High Tide Autumn Sunset
Waiting for the sun to set!


Steetley Pier Sunset Under The Pier High Tide
Under Steetley Pier at high tide



Steetley Pier Autumn Sunset
The colour soon began to build, as predicted it was to be a great sunset!


Steetley Pier, Steetley Magnesite
Old wooden staithes from Steetley Magnesite with a split sky of pink to the left and blue to the right


Steetley Pier Wet Sand Reflections
The clouds reflecting over the wet sand, the colours kept getting deeper and deeper


Steetley Pier Colourful Autumn Sunset
The LEE circular polariser really brought out the colours and saturation of the scene


Steetley Pier long exposure of wave drawbacks
Long wave drawbacks


Steetley Pier Sunset, Pink and blue skies
Pink and blue reflections


Steetley Pier Last Light
The last light, time to pack up and go home!


The Composition

The sunset was the star here, I used a LEE 105mm circular polariser, 0.9ND and 0.9ND Hard Grad to compose the shots. The focus was capturing the colour in the sky, the reflections on the beach and the motion of the waves moving through the scene. I had a scout around the beach for foreground and background interest. The pier dominates many shots but there’s also some nice smaller objects on the beach here to focus in on.

The Kit

LEE 105mm Circular Polariser.  Polarising filters are used to manage light at wavelength scale, and if magnified could be a likened to a series of microscopic slats.

In use, as the filter is rotated, it either transmits or blocks the waves of light that are vibrating in particular orientations. When light from the sun bounces off a flat non metallic surface, such as glass or water, it becomes polarised – i.e. all of the reflected light waves vibrate in the same plane. This reflected glare can be removed by the polarising filter.

LEE ND 0.9 ND Hard Grad: Reduces exposure by 3 stops  on the top-half of the filter without affecting colour balance. This allows the light from the sky to be reduced allowing greater detail of the foreground to be captured.

EF-S 10-22MM: A Wide-angle lens was necessary to capture the entire scene.

LEE 105mm circular polariser. The polariser reduces glare and increases saturation, it allows you to control or enhance reflections from objects.

The Location

Park at West View Road, Hartlepool, TS24 9LJ.
Walk through the near-by tunnel under the railway line and keep heading straight forward to the sea, turn right for the pier. This location is quite remote and also very dark at night so best to take some company!

This location is pretty flexible with interesting features at nearly all tide levels, both sunrise and sunset are viable here.

The History