The sun is rising, but is it? From black to white the day gets brighter, but there is no colour on the horizon or in the sky. Only shades. I have driven to the beach to see the seaside, but I can’t. Not a great start.

I set off along the seawall and squint at the damp shapes as they pass, and look for a gang of gulls that haunt area. The wet air condenses on my face and clothes, and my tripod chills my hand so I holster it in a strap on my bag. While I walk, the world begins to resolve around me. Distant objects fight to be seen and break out of the background, but still only achieve a soft focus. Runners and dog walkers sharpen as they come close, but fade again once they pass. I keep walking.

It doesn’t take long to find my subjects as they dance across the mud and clutter the shore, making a messy composition. I take my travel mug out of the big pocket on my trouser leg, wander around, and sip the warm coffee as I look for my image. I have an idea of what I would like to shoot – I often get carried away and happily accumulate image after image, but today I am only going to take a couple of pictures. Well, maybe a couple plus a few.

I find what I am looking for and start to set up on the narrow pathway. I tap the buttons on my camera with inflexible fingers, and tighten locks on my tripod with a strange unfamiliarity; my fingerless gloves are nice and warm on the kitchen table at home. I step to one side as more morning runners and dog walkers move past, while my tripod resolutely guards my composition.


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