Night Shoot in Hastings

Throughout my life, I’ve been a loner, when it comes to my hobbies at least. The things I enjoy the most are the things I can submerge myself into, taking my time and doing them in my own way. When I discovered my love for photography, I would never have considered that my new hobby could be something I could enjoy with other people without feeling inadequate or judged in some way. Someone would always have a better camera than me, or years more experience. They’d understand how to manipulate their equipment to get shots far more beautiful than I could, and thoughts like these made me nervous… until recently.

A couple of weekends ago, I went to a local photography exhibition showcasing the work of the Rye and District Camera Club. I really wanted to talk to some of the photographers and ask some questions, but when I arrived, my anxiety kicked in and I clammed up. I just worked my way around the room, enjoying the photographs, trying not to be noticed.

In the second room, I bumped into the husband of one of my workmates, who is a member of the club. He took me by surprise, appearing suddenly at my side and asking if I wanted to join the club. I had considered it, but felt nervous about asking when I arrived. I told my friend’s husband that I would indeed be interested in joining. I then headed back into the first room and saw a man I knew when I was a child, who is the chairman of the club. I talked to him for a while and by the end of the conversation, I knew I definitely wanted to join.

The following Monday I joined the club for a talk by Paul Dunmall, a renowned photographer who shared a back catalogue of his photography – it was a journey from his first experiments to some of his prize winning work. His talk made me feel a lot better about my own journey. While I’m no professional, I am doing pretty well for someone who has only really been at it for a year! I also met several friendly members of the club, and was invited to join them the following Monday for a night shoot in Hastings.

Monday came around, and even though I was tired from a hard day’s work, I got my act together and drove along to Hastings, where a few of the guys were already waiting. When we set off, there were seven of us, and we walked down from the Jerwood Gallery to the beach, passing between an array of sea-weathered fishing boats and scatterings of brightly coloured nets and ropes.

As we weaved around, and scanned the coastline for a good shot, our little group dispersed, and for some time, I wasn’t sure where everyone was, but we eventually came back together as the sun was setting over the town. The sky turned from blue, to pastel pink, to a softly glowing orange, and then to darkness. It was far from the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen, but I enjoyed capturing its changing colours over the skyline and beach.

After the colours had faded from the sky, the remaining five of us wandered back into town and enjoyed some fish and chips. I was pleasantly surprised at how chilled and friendly the guys were – not that I’d expected anything else, but I had expected to feel a little awkward in a group of strangers. As we all sat, chatting, I knew that this was a group of people I could see myself fitting in to. We all have a shared interest, for a start, but as well as that, they are all genuinely really nice.

Once we were completely stuffed, we strolled through the Old Town, making the most of any last glint of light. It was becoming quite difficult to capture anything good by this point, but we had a bit of fun laughing at some of the weird and wonderful shop displays before calling it a night and heading home.

So, I have concluded that I was right to take a step out of my comfort zone and seek out other people to share my passion for photography with. I received such a warm welcome from the members of the camera club, and I will absolutely be going back for more!


To see the rest of my night shoot photography, click here.


8 thoughts on “Night Shoot in Hastings

  1. Dariel Lim says:

    Wow, such a great encounter! Like you I’m shy especially about my photography ‘skills’. I joined a photography group from and they are a bunch of friendly people who’s ready to share their knowledge and tips anytime too. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corinne L Simpson says:

      Thank you Dariel! It’s so strange how our minds hold us back from things. One thing I really want to do is to get over my social anxiety and any fears I have about travel and just go for it! There is so much to see and experience, so I’m only harming myself by not chasing the dream!


  2. Amandas_Wanderlust says:

    This is a really lovely post. It reminds us to step outside our comfort zones, pursue our passions and that a little adventure can be found even close to home. I love a micro-adventure! I particularly like the photos of the boats and ropes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tony Ham says:

    You sound like me four years ago, I went to the club’s exhibition and joined shortly afterwards having just bought a DSLR and having no real idea of how to use all the buttons and dials so I went along looking for help. My first night shoot was at Rye Harbour photographing the lights on the river by the lifeboat house. I’ve found the best way to improve my photography is by entering the club competitions, it’s not life or death serious and you can learn a lot by having someone point out what you’re doing wrong, just don’t take it to heart and leave like some people have, they’re not being nasty, they’re just being honest. Also, once you’ve worked out the technical side the judges opinion is just that, their personal opinion, what one judge hates another will love so take the pictures you enjoy and just take on board their ideas of how to improve, it’s what I’m doing and when I look at pictures I entered three years ago I cringe! I’m glad you’re enjoying the club and if there’s anything we’re not covering that you need help with let me know as I’m on the committee now and can maybe get it put in the agenda for the next seaso, or maybe even on a week when we have no club meeting this season. See you at the next meeting, Tony.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corinne L Simpson says:

      Thank you Tony! I’m genuinely touched by your comments on here and on Facebook. It’s one of those things where I wonder why I never tried it before. I just get nervous meeting new people, but now that’s out of the way, I’m seeing how beneficial and fun it is to be part of such a group.

      I hoping to enter something to the competition this week but I’ve been so busy I haven’t sat down and thought about what I will submit! I’ll try to do that later. Yes even when I look back to some of my shots from a year ago I cringe haha!


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 )

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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


Connecting to %s