Things don’t always work as planned!

Fleetwood Marsh – know your tide times!


With a bit of time today and the weather expected to be fine, albeit a bit flat, I decided to head out and to a new location for me and explore. the spot I chose was inspired by a video I saw on You-Tube by Craig Roberts (Video). I have watched Craig’s videos for a while and was surprised to see him in my neck of the woods and shooting at a place I didn’t know existed!

Fleetwood Marshes are around an hour away from me, so I checked the tide times and decided I was best getting to the location for high tide. having never been to the location before I always feel its best to arrive for the tide retreating rather than coming in. you do not want to find yourself cut off by the tide whilst concentrating on a shot, and by arriving for the tide at its highest you scout the best spots, find the best routes in and most importantly best means of escape. This means when you return in the future you can arrive at any time and be confident you know how to get back when the tide comes in.

When I arrived I couldn’t believe how high the tide was, I walked down to the front and could barely get onto the marsh as the water was so high. ¬†At the point I nearly threw in the towel and went home but thought why not hang about for half and hour and see how quickly it started to recede. So I got the camera out and just took a few shots of the ships which were my planned subject, a quick half hour passed and looked down at the how much the water level had changed. It had only got higher! Feeling a bit dejected I picked up my bag an trudged down the side of the river, thankfully at this moment a very kind man in a kayak floated over and started to talk to me about what I was shooting. I explained that I’d planned to get onto the marsh to get some shots of the Shipwrecks but I was going to have to come back. The Gentleman then explained to me the water was only about 2 feet deep and it would be clear in an hour and I could walk right out to ships easily! You can see below the scene which greeted me when I arrived.


Who could have believed that within, half an hour I would be stood next to that piece of wood in front of the right hand ship. I certainly didn’t! I decided to retreat to the car wait it out and have some lunch. 40 mins later I grabbed the bag and set off back to the river bank expecting to be greeted with the same scene I left earlier. how wrong could i have been!

When I returned the water had all but gone, I had to work faster than I’d have liked and tried to figure out the way to the end of the water and set up a shot. The photo I had planned was using one of the gullies as a leading line into the ships and the setting a long exposure up to smooth out the water. However there wasn’t quite enough time so I quickly found a suitable alternative composition and got set up.


With the lack of water flowing through the gully I focused on the structure of the nearest boat and looked to get some movement in the sky. This would only work in mono due to the lack of colour in the scene (largely different shades of brown!). It’s not the best shot I’ve ever taken and not what I planned but it turned out ok, I will definitely return with a better understanding of the location to get the shot I imagined.

I suppose the lesson learnt here is to not be disappointed if things don’t happen as planned, each time you go out and shoot you learn something. Whether that be about your equipment, the way the weather works or the location you are at. The key is to take note of what you learn on that day and build that into the next shoot. I definitely learnt a lot on this shoot, even though it was a quick trip out.

Thanks for reading, speak soon