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Meet Up & Photowalk: Landguard Point, Felixstowe

Mid-May, we saw the return of the ever-popular Illuminate photo walks. For the first walk of 2024, we visited Landguard Point in Felixstowe, with a theme of fragility.

As with previous walks, there is a theme or concept – though entirely optional. For this particular walk, we focused on capturing the essence of fragility in the landscape. Everything from the historic defences and the ever-changing dance between man-made structures, along with the rawness of the landscape and its surrounding nature.

We all got together and set off, starting by capturing the stark contrast between the weathered brick and the vibrant wildflowers clinging to every crevice. Around Landguard Fort in particular, the element of fragility easily manifests itself in the impermanence of human construction, slowly being reclaimed by nature.

Moving on, the docks provide a different perspective. The towering cranes easily dwarf you, imposing, with their metal frames. The constant hum of machinery serves as a reminder of human industry, yet these leviathans seem to precariously balance themselves against the vastness of the sea. The ships gliding past as we continued to walk, dwarfed by the immensity of the sky, further emphasised just how small we are in comparison.

As we wandered, it was soon apparent that the idea of fragility wasn't just about physical vulnerability. As we got closer to the beach, the expanse of the ocean came into full view. Both calming and powerful, the waves crashing against the shingle served as a metaphor for life's constant ebb and flow. The sea, a force so much greater than ourselves, offered a humbling perspective. It was a powerful reminder that while we as individuals may feel fragile, we are part of something much bigger.

Sadly, there was no pub to end the walk this time around, but overall, a very successful first photo walk for 2024. It's so great to have the return of these walks. They bring a real sense of community, with photographers of all levels brought together by their passion for capturing the world around them. As a group, there were no expectations, just a shared love for the medium.

Alongside giving people a concept, we also set an additional challenge of shooting with a "film mindset" – as in, limiting ourselves to 36 exposures. This often encourages a more deliberate approach; however, it isn't essential. That being said, with this mindset, each click becomes a thoughtful decision, forcing us to consider composition, framing, and the story we wanted to tell.

Landguard Fort isn't just a historical landmark, but a canvas to explore many themes and concepts – not just fragility, but much more – and no doubt we will be back again soon to delve deeper into this landscape.

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Sandy Miles

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