Severn Rockpool


A good friend of mine is a pub manager. He spent years running pubs in Acton and Ealing, lovely places in their own right, but not the most photographic.

I wasn’t overly disappointed when I visited his new pub in Portishead for the first time to discover that his house not only sat overlooking the Severn estuary, but that the bank of the river was literally next to his garden!

It didn’t take me long to return with my equipment for a visit and my first photographic trek in Somerset. I didn’t realise that this part of the world has one of the biggest tidal ranges in the country, and I wasn’t anywhere near prepared for how quickly the tide came in. I’m used to shooting in Dorset, I know the tides well, but this was an entirely different kettle of fish.

In only half an hour or so, a huge expanse of land had disappeared underwater – we’re talking the size of about four or five football pitches. I’d originally trekked out a fair way over the clay and rocks but intuition told me I needed to have my wits about me, so back I came to a safer, drier area. Land was disappearing quickly, with once-dry rocks vanishing under the incoming tide in a matter of minutes. Apart from carrying a degree of obvious danger, it’s not easy composing a photograph when the landscape is changing so quickly and your foreground’s literally disappearing before your eyes.

Thankfully I had time to set up and grab this shot. Within about 15 minutes of taking it, everything you can see in the foreground up until the darker bank was entirely submerged. Crazy.

Part of the Everywhere else collection.

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