alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

West Bay – A Dorset fishing harbour

Harbour wall

Harbour wall
It was low tide so the full height of the harbour wall was visible. I don’t know how old the harbour wall would be, but for many, many years, the water has risen and fallen with the tide, covering the old ladders, wooden posts and exposed brick and stonework. The buoys and reflections of the wall in the water, together with the wall itself I think make an interesting image.


Fishing harbours are wonderful photographic subjects, where the eye is inevitably is drawn to the fishing boats, clusters of old rope, endless rusty chains, small mountains of lobster pots, and piles of decaying painted wood – the list goes on and on.

Back in December when I visited the fishing village of West Bay on the Dorset coast (now famous as the back drop to the crime series ‘Broadchurch’),  I tried as hard as I could to avoid the obvious, which in this type of environment is a rather challenging thing to do. Whether or not I have succeeded is hard for me to judge but whatever the results, I spent a very happy hour or two walking around this most attractive location in relatively warm winter sunshine, with a camera in my hand looking for things to photographic. What could be better?!


Harbour ropes and shadows

Harbour ropes and shadows
The light was very strong, but I took this shot as I just liked the combination of the lines of ropes and the shadows which fell on the murky water.


Number 34

Number 34
Along the top edge of the wall there were small round numbered disks, which identified the mooring for a particular fishing boat. The shallow depth of field draws the eye to disk and the rope, whilst the light shining on the rope takes the eye towards the out of focus buoy and the waters of the harbour below.



There were no shortage of fish and chip shops surrounding the harbour, many of which were closed but in the summer they would be heaving with customers, not to mention the tame birds always on the lookout for a scrap to eat. Is that with or without ketchup!


4 Responses to “West Bay – A Dorset fishing harbour”

    • alan frost

      Thanks Simon. I don’t know Maryport but I will add it to the list. As you say harbours are fascinating places to visit…..there is always something going on.


  1. Vicki

    Very effective in B & W, Alan.
    Particularly the first and third images.
    You seem to have caught the sun and shade, giving plenty of good contrast for a monochrome image. (I must admit I’m a little envious as while I live near enough to beaches, none of them have old harbours or piers etc).



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