Photographing East Anglia: The region's best-kept secrets

By Caroline Schmidt. Posted

Both genteel and wild, East Anglia is brimming with amazing and underrated places to photograph. From tulip farms and daffodil fields to strong coastlines, ancient woodlands and misty fields with sluggish windmills, there’s a true pastoral English quality to East Anglia’s landscapes. East Anglia has long been a special place. The big skies and flat landscapes it’s known for have attracted artists for centuries; the landscapes that inspired John Constable have remained much the same for the last 200 years and continue to inspire photographers.

Award-winning landscape photographer Justin Minns has packed more than 70 such locations with details on how best to access and photograph them in his new book, Photographing East Anglia. And not only do we feature an extensive interview with Justin in our July 2019 issue (grab your copy today), he’s sharing with you his top three areas to photograph across The Broads, Norfolk, Suffolk, North Essex and Cambridgeshire…

The Broads National Park

Within the ‘Broads’ you’ve derelict windmills poking out of lingering misty reed beds and a wonderful quality of light in the winter that glistens against the frosty reeds. In the right conditions it’s all very atmospheric. A popular beach location near the Broads is Caister-on-Sea with its unspoilt, dune-fringed, sandy beaches and zigzag-shaped groynes just waiting for some shutter-speed experimentation. Another favourite coastal spot slightly north of the Broads: Happisburgh clings to the clifftop on the edge of the east Norfolk coast, best accessed from Cart Gap beach to the south, Happisburgh beach is home to broken sea defences and beach views of the lighthouse. The red and white-stripped lighthouse sits in the middle of a slowly shrinking field that stretches to the clifftops, with views from all sides, makes it a striking and popular focal point.”

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Norfolk
Norfolk is known for the beauty of Wells-next-the-Sea, Old Hunstanton for its stripy cliffs and year-round sunsets, and the vastness of Holkham beach – they’re simply fantastic: huge expanses of sand, lined with beach huts. When the tide goes out at Holkham you can barely see the sea – you have to walk 15-minutes to reach the shoreline. Another lesser-known gem, however, is Thornham on the north Norfolk coast. An old harbour tucked away with a few old boats it's a wonderful place to photograph at any time of day as it’s so open that it’s bathed in light at sunrise and sunset.

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Southwold, Suffolk
During the spring, as warmer and clear nights are still cool it’s a good time for misty conditions, particularly in the low-lying wetlands of the Fens, Broads and water meadows in Constable Country. But of all the places to head to in the region for newcomers, Justin says you can’t go wrong with Southwold on the Suffolk coast as there’s so much going on – a pier, harbour, sand dunes, beach huts – lots of interest and if the weather isn’t great you can do long exposures. Dunwich Heath and Beach in late summer when the heather is in bloom is amazing too as it runs all the way to the top of the cliffs.

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To read our full interview with Justin, purchase the July issue of Digital SLR Photography magazine.

You can also purchase Justin's book Photographing East Anglia, (£27.95) published by FotoVue, and see more of his work by visiting: www.justinminns.co.uk

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