Cromer, Norfolk, 30th November 2019

5th January 2020
Written by: Rob Slusar

After a decent nights sleep, I got up filled myself up with tea to get myself through the painfully early time I had chosen to wake up.

My plan was simple. Get up, go catch the sunrise, then walk to Overstrand for some long exposure on the beach before heading back from some Cromer walkaround shots. My ultimate goal for the day, however, would be the sunset by the pier.


After a quick shower, I rolled out of the hotel at about 6 am. It was cold, I was tired, but a banana on the walk to the pier perked me up a little bit. It was still quite dark so I took a wander along the seafront to find the composition I wanted. I settled on a location looking at the pier and along the promenade.

As the sun started to rise I unpacked my tripod and started to capture the light over the Pier.

One of my early shots as the sun started to creep over the horizon.

I moved down the slipway onto the beach, defying the incoming tide to get a different angle and long exposure. What you don’t see is my tripod and I precariously perched on a large and unstable pile of pebbles.

After spotting some fellow photographers, I moved up to join them for another view of the pier and the sea wall.

I wasn’t there long before I decided to return to my original position which had a better view of the sky. It turned out to be a good decision and this image turned out to be one of my favourites from the trip.

With the sunrise nearing its end, I decided to get another view before the colours left the scene so walked over to the other side of the Pier.

The Beach & Beach Huts

With the best of colours now gone, I decided I would start my walk down towards Overstrand and take in some shots of Cromer beach and the well-photographed beach huts.

As well as trying to get some nice shots along the colourful huts, I also focused on some of the details of them.

Some of the morning light was shining on the beach huts so I stopped and took a snap.

Looking along the huts.

It became apparent that the tide was coming in. I decided that by the time I got to Overstrand, the sea defences would be underwater and I didn’t want to get cut off by the tide. I noticed that there was a sea mist drifting up the beach so I decided to stop and grab this picture of the sky and mist.

All privately owned, the beach huts are all painted different colours.

Some of them have been named.

Others have been customised.

Closed for winter.


By this point, the sun was well in the sky and it was around 9 am. I was hungry so decided to head back through the town to find somewhere to stop for breakfast and a cup of tea. Whilst wandering back, I decided to try and get some pictures of the streets of this beautiful seaside town.


Walking toward the town centre.

Cromer’s streets are lined with many historic terraced houses.

It also has some really nice pubs and restaurants.

The terraces give you a nice line of sight down towards the sea.

More terraces in the soft morning light.

After eating my breakfast (bacon roll) and finishing my cup of tea, I took a wander around the town whilst they were setting up a Christmas themed market. It was only about 10.30 by the time I had finished, so I decided that I would head back to my hotel room for a couple of hours to download the photos, take a break and dry my boots out (yes, I ended up getting splashed by waves).

Whilst I was in my room just chilling out I heard the familiar sound of a Pitts aircraft outside my window. It turned out that the pilot was using the promenade as a flightline along the sea so he could practice his display. Can’t beat a free airshow.

After a couple of hours, I got changed and headed out with the idea of popping to one of the pubs and then finding myself my best place for sunset.

After stopping at the pub I needed to wait for sunset. I knew what I wanted, I just had to kill time until the sun began to set. So I decided to head back up to the beach huts and see if I could get some better pictures of them now the light was the other way and I was more awake. I didn’t take as many as I had taken in the morning but still got some very pleasing shots in the afternoon sun.

The huts.

The lines of the huts.


I worked my way back along the beach towards the pier. The tide was going out and the lowest tide would be shortly before sunset so I knew I would be able to get the location I wanted.

When I arrived back at the pier I decided to take a walk down onto the beach and underneath. I’ve always wanted to get images of the underside of a pier looking out towards sea. This was the first time I had both the tide and the time to have a go at it.

Under the pier.

A more closeup of the frame keeping the pier up.

Moving around the pier I took in several different angles before choosing my spot. I knew the sunset should be more visible from one side of the pier than the other, but the other side had some more interesting foreground features so I wanted to try and get the best angle I could.

I started off being arty on the side with the foreground features. My plan was to dash over for when the sun brought the colours and take from the other side. This is what I did.

On one side of the pier, there were some rocks that create a nice foreground image.

The remains of this groyne have lead to this composition being used many times by many photographers. If it isn’t broken, then why would it need fixing?

Moving to the other side of the pier, I set up for the sunset proper. I used the supports for what I imagine was a historic pier or jetty as the foreground interest.

I waited for the light to change and kept snapping.

Whilst I was shooting at this angle, I wasn’t feeling it as I should. The sunset wasn’t doing what I had hoped. I was deciding whether or not to abandon this angle and move back towards the other side. The composition here felt better, even if the sunset wasn’t that good. Eventually, I took the punt and then swapped sides again. It turned out to be a good decision.

The light may not have been on this side, but it felt like the stronger composition. It ended up being one of my favourite shots.

Final Thoughts

After packing up my camera and tripod, I set out to get my dinner at the always wonderful No. 1 Fish and Chips restaurant, somewhere I have been many times. That evening was also the night Cromer turned it’s Christmas lights on. After a walk around, a couple of drinks and a play on the arcades I headed back.

Stairs on the seafront.

Once in my hotel room I chilled out with some podcasts before getting to sleep. I would get up early for one final sunset in Cromer before heading home.

Keep an eye out for that report, but for now, Thanks for looking.