The Coastguards – Escaping the classic view

The Coastguards

This image was captured at Cuckmere Haven in East Sussex  earlier this week. The approach is from Seaford Head Nature Reserve. It’s an extremely well known spot, not only for tourists but also for photographers who wish to add the ‘classic view’ to their collection. By ‘classic view’ I mean the one which is taken from the top of the footpath on the right of this picture. Looking east, the coastguard cottages are in the foreground whilst the majestic view of the cliffs of The Seven Sisters and Beachy Head fill the background. It is a wonderful view but metaphorically speaking there are thousands of tripod holes in the prime spot. Just Google – Coastguard Cottages Seaford – and you will see what I mean.

On my Instagram feed, a fellow Worpress Blogger, Lensscaper by Andy Hooker, rightly pointed out in a comment that the view isn’t as good as it used to be. The brambles are quite overgrown and the view of the cottages is quite obscured.

This didn’t matter to me  as the point of this post is to look for alternative viewpoints and not to follow in the footsteps (or tripod holes) of all the people that have gone before me. The ‘classic view’ might be the one to appear on the picture postcard or a tin of biscuits made for the tourist, but I prefer to explore a popular location and look for an image which is not often seen by the majority.

In case you were wondering I did take the ‘classic view’ about a year ago and here it is. Even then  I still made the focal point an elderly gentleman with his walking stick. I was still resisting a shot of  just the view itself. You can read this post here.


I would argue that even in the most popular locations there are new shots to be found if you take the trouble to look around and not be tempted to repeat the obvious.

6 Responses to “The Coastguards – Escaping the classic view”

  1. LensScaper

    Nice to see this ‘up large’ on your blog Alan. And thanks for the mention. It’s a shame about the overgrowth of brambles and the like that are blocking a clear view of the cottages. The opposite view from Birling Gap (looking East to West) is I think underrated, and there are plenty of options for interesting foregrounds from that viewpoint.


    • alan frost

      Thanks Andy. In fact I was at Birling Gap this morning and have now returned home. We had limited time but came away with a few frames which may or may not be any good! As you say some interesting foreground details to help the composition.


  2. Simon Howlett

    Nice to see the cottages from this perspective Alan. It’s always a challenge to find a new viewpoint, something that I often find quite difficult here in the Lake District. With time, repeat visits and a good deal of looking, superb views like yours can be discovered and photographed.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: