Long exposure seascape of the rocks at Trow Point, South Shields

Trow Point

Trow Point, South Shields, 20th September 2016

I’ve seen many photos of four great rocks in the sea for the last few years and set about locating them. Nowhere on the internet seems to put an exact position on these rocks or what sort of tide is required to capture the water swirling around them, so here it is… Trow Point, South Shields.


A Long Exposure shot of the rocks at Trow Point
A Long Exposure shot of the rocks at Trow Point


The Shot

Long exposure seascape of the rocks at Trow Point, South Shields
Long exposure seascape of the rocks at Trow Point, South Shields


The Composition

Trow Point Sunrise
Sunrise at Trow Point, a bank of cloud sitting in the wrong place blocked out the sun rising over the horizon.


I had hoped for a colourful sunrise but instead on the day there was a big bank of cloud in just the wrong place obscuring the sun. It always helps to have a backup plan with photography, so, instead I turned my attention to capturing a long exposure and selected my LEE Big Stopper filter. Combined with a 0.9 ND Hard Grad I balanced out the bright sky. The long exposure smoothed out the bubbling water into a serene and minimalist scene.


On location, Trow Point
On location, Trow Point

The Location

Trow Quarry, Promenade, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 2JH

The car park is open 24 hours and is pay and display during daytime hours.


Trow Point Location, Parking and Trow Rocks
Trow Point Location, Parking and Trow Rocks. Postcode NE33 2JH.

Best time to visit

This is a sunrise and high tide location if you want to get it at its best. High tide sees the water breaking around and over the rocks.


A return visit, 5th November – sunrise

Not content with the muted sunrise of my first visit, I spotted that the tide and sunrise again combined; however, the weather forecast predicted heavy rain showers and storm force winds. Hoping this would make for a dramatic shot I headed up the road with fingers crossed for some promising light. It was cold, dark and windy when I left the house and didn’t look very hopeful! Things got worse when I arrived and pulled on my wellies, only to realise they were still full of water from the previous weekend’s misadventures.

I walked down to the rocks to find local photographer Alan Dingwall already snapping away from the top of the cliffs, there was room enough for two above the swirling maelstrom of white water and sea foam below. With the tide dropping it eventually became low enough to clamber down to the lower rocks to get a closer and better composition though there were still a few waves that gave cause for alarm and the odd dinner plate of sea foam over the cameras. The worst of which wiped out my steaming hot cup of tea! I wanted a visceral sunrise but this wasn’t quite what I had in mind!

The light started to make its way through the clouds and the clouds turned golden, suddenly it all seemed worthwhile! Now we were in business.

Trow Point South Shields Sunrise Autumn
Trow Point South Shields Sunrise Autumn. Bonfire night started with a bang!

I used a LEE neutral density filter to slow down the exposure and a graduated filter to balance out the bright sky.


It wasn’t long before the clouds started to draw in again…

It wasn't long before the rain made an appearance!
And with the clouds.. rain and sleet! You could almost mistake the water for ice, I have never seen sea foam so deep!


I am still searching for the full on sunrise at Trow Point but I enjoyed my second visit. I also have the excuse to return again for another try at the perfect sunrise with waves crashing over the rocks.