On the north west corner of Norfolk, a four hour round trip drive from my home in Suffolk, is a place I visit whenever the opportunity arises and never tire of photographing. Hunstanton is a fairly small, traditional seaside resort, famous for it's red and white cliffs but otherwise quite unassuming... so what is it that keeps me going back?
Perhaps it's the quest for perfection? Strangely, or maybe not, however many times I visit and however many successful photos I take there, I always think that I haven't quite done it justice and that if next time I just moved round to the right a bit or used a lower viewpoint it would improve the composition... maybe that's it, it's the endless search for that perfect photo.
It could on the other hand be the amount of interesting things to photograph. In the short stretch of coast from Old Hunstanton village to Hunstanton town there is a magnificent stretch of strikingly coloured cliffs that almost glow in the evening light, a shipwreck, a generous scattering of unusual rocks that seem to be something of a geological oddity, some old mussel beds, plenty of the sort of interesting wooden groynes that photographers seem to love, a wide open stretch of sand that at low tide seems to go on forever and the biggest skies you'll see anywhere (probably). Clearly, to photograph all this in the best light or at the right tide is going to take more than one visit... yes that's got be the reason.
Living in the east, sunrise has always been the best time for photographing the coast and as I'm often up at the crack of dawn to do just that, I've always believed myself to be a morning person. What if I was wrong... Hunstanton, although on the east coast, actually faces west so the best time to visit is sunset, a rare thing in East Anglia. At this time of year I can drive up there after work, grab a bite to eat and then spend the evening wandering the beach absorbed in my photography until the last of the light fades and I stumble back to the car, wondering not for the first time why I didn't bring a torch. So the answer could simply be that I've actually been a night person all along and Hunstanton is the best place in this part of the world to enjoy that particular indulgence.
(Images taken from my latest trip to the main beach at Hunstanton, to see more visit my 'sea' gallery)