Favourite Photographic Locations
Some of my favourite photographic locations
are listed below :
My nearest port, the Port
of Southampton is of course famous as a Cruise Terminal, but also
is one of the UK's major container, roll-on roll-off, bulk cargo and oil
My favourite locations around Southampton are as follows :
View Southampton - Ship Photo Locations in a larger map
|Town Quay - The departure point of the Red Jet Hi-Speed services to the Isle
of Wight. All container shipping and all the vessels for the Western Docks in
Southampton pass close to Town Quay. However, after midday, the sunlight is
generally against you for photography. For the last few years the
end of Town Quay has been cordoned off due to it being allegedly
unsafe. This makes bow shots of ships entering the port quite
|Mayflower Park - A similar vantage point to Town Quay, but you also get a
close-up view of the shipping at the cruise terminal at berth 101 which is
adjacent to the park and other shipping more distant at the remainder of the
berths in the Western Docks. Mayflower Park is, however closed for the
duration of the Southampton boatshow in the summer and for some time
before and after the boatshow, temporary pontoons and pilings make photography difficult.
The view from Mayflower
|Hythe Pier - You can get good photographs of all the shipping arriving and
departing from Southampton, but you will need a telephoto lens. The sunlight is
on the correct side here for photographs for most of the day after 10am. Hythe Pier is the
departure point for the Hythe-Southampton
ferry, from which you can get good close up views of any cruise ships at the
QE II and Ocean terminals and also cargo ships in the Eastern Docks.
|Red Funnel Vehicle Ferries - If you take a trip on the
Funnel Vehicle Ferries, departing from Royal Pier, for East Cowes on the
Isle of Wight, you can get good close up views of any shipping in the Eastern
Docks, including the QE II terminal, the tanker traffic at Exxon's
Fawley refinery (5 berths) and BP's Hamble oil jetty (1 berth). Tanker traffic
generally consists of tankers up to 150,000dwt, but occasionally there is a VLCC
present on the Exxon terminal. As well as the berthed shipping it is usual to
see a few ships on the move in Southampton Water which makes for good close up
shots as the channel which the ferries and commercial shipping share is fairly
The Red Funnel Ferry
Tours - Blue Funnel Cruises
offer boat trips around the harbour in the summer
months and sometimes when there are cruise
ships in harbour.
Europoort and the Nieuwe Waterweg
One of the first areas I visited on the continent to take ship photographs.
It is possible to take excellent shots of ships underway on the Nieuwe Waterweg which is
the route that ships take to travel to the old docks at Rotterdam. Since the arrival
of the new container, oil and bulk terminals at Europoort, the traffic volume on
the Nieuwe Waterweg has reduced in the last few years. However you can still
photograph approximately 40 ships underway a day.
My favourite spots for
photographing ships in Rotterdam and the Nieuwe Waterweg are as follows :
View Rotterdam and the Hook of Holland in a larger map
|Hook of Holland - At the mouth of the Nieuwe Waterweg is the Stena Line ferry
terminal, walk past the terminal, seaward, around the small harbour used by the
pilot boats and you get to the banks of the Nieuwe Waterweg. From this location you can
take good photographs in the morning up to about midday when the sun starts to
interfere with the photography. Ships coming from and going to Rotterdam's old
port complex pass very close to this area. Also, you can see the
shipping at the Europoort complex in the distance from here. The town of the
Hook of Holland is just a few minutes walk away as is the railway station for
trains towards Rotterdam. These days the view has somewhat been spoilt by a
number of wind turbines which have been built at Maasvlakte and on
the Southern bank of the Nieuwe Waterweg.
of Holland to Europoort Fast Ferry - a fast
ferry now operates from pilot station harbour at the Hook of
Holland to Europoort and also to Rozenburg. Unlike most fast ferries
this one has a open deckspace at the stern allowing photographs to
- a photographic vantage point for vessels entering or leaving from
Europoort exists on the Southern side of the entrance to Europoort.
You will need a car to reach this area as it is a bit off the beaten
track. The sun is good for taking photographs from here in the
|Rozenburg - Situated on the banks of the Nieuwe Waterweg between
the Hook of Holland and Rotterdam is the quiet town of Rozenburg. There is a ferry crossing the
Nieuwe Waterweg from Maasluiss (where there is a railway station on the line to
the Hook of Holland) to Rozenburg. At the ferry terminal on the
Rozenburg side of the river there is an area where you can get excellent shots
of incoming ships underway at close quarters after midday when the sun will then
be behind you. You can also get good photographs of outgoing ships as well, but
the background for outgoing ships is cluttered by the town of Maasluiss. If you
walk about 1km towards Rotterdam from the Rozenburg ferry terminal you get to
the optimum location for photographs, ships pass very close at this point in
both directions and the background is uncluttered.
Hill" - "The Hill" is at the end of the spit of
land which separates the Caland Canal from the Nieuwe Waterweg. You
will need a car to get here. The hill offers a vantage point for
viewing shipping in Europoort and the Caland Canal. The roundabout
at the base of the hill offers good views of shipping entering or
leaving the Nieuwe Waterweg as well.
|Rotterdam - You can also take a short docks tour on the
Spido boats from
Rotterdam - whose departure point is near the unmistakable Erasmus Bridge.
My favourite place - the River
Schelde! Antwerp is, as far as I am concerned,
the best port in Europe for variety of shipping, especially the older
conventional cargo ships - a dying breed in these days of containerisation.
Antwerp is several miles upstream on the
River Schelde. There are several excellent locations which allow you to
photograph ships underway on the river.
View The River Schelde in a larger map
|Vlissingen - A
busy town situated at the mouth of the River Schelde, on the
Northern bank. Vlissingen has a small enclosed port which does not see a
lot of traffic these days. It is also the departure point of the ferry
to Breskens on the Southern bank of the River Schelde. The conventional
passenger and vehicle ferries have been replaced by high speed
passenger only ferries due to the opening of the new Westerschelde road
tunnel. Ships inbound to the Schelde ports pick up their pilots for the River Schelde at
a point off Vlissingen. One of the two shipping lanes into the River
Schelde passes close to the beach at Vlissingen, however, the larger
ships bound for the Schelde normally use the other shipping channel
which is over the other side of the river from Vlissingen.
View Vlissingen in a larger map
Good photographs can be taken
of the shipping in the closest shipping channel from the beach at
Vlissingen, particularly in the early morning when the sun is behind you. However, the best photographs can be taken from the various
breakwaters near to the Pilot Station and railway station. As Vlissingen is on the Northern
bank of the River Schelde, the sun can interfere with photography,
particularly around the middle of the day. You will need a telephoto
lens to photograph the larger ships which tend to use the furthest
channel from Vlissingen. The sun is best from late afternoon onwards.
|Terneuzen - In my
view the best place for ship photography in the River Schelde. This
pretty town is situated on the banks of the River Schelde overlooking
the shipping lanes. It is also situated at the junction where the Gent-Terneuzen
canal joins the River Schelde. There are a number of locations to take
photographs from. If you like taking photographs of ships underway,
at speed, with no distracting background, then this is the place for
you. The best place, where the ships inward bound to Antwerp pass very
close to is the breakwater on the Western side of Terneuzen's old
harbour (these days mainly a marina and tug harbour.). Walk out to the
end of the breakwater for photographs of ships close quarters, wonderful
in Summertime, but can be very cold in Winter!
An alternative location is on the
bank where ships enter the main locks at Terneuzen, to the west of
the locks is a small car park on the bank. This position is good in
the afternoon when the sun is behind you. From this position you can photograph all the
traffic into and out of the Gent canal at close quarters as well as the
shipping in the River Schelde bound for Antwerp (but it's not as close
here as the location above). The Gent canal sees quite a few movements
daily, with regular movements of large bulk carriers, coastal shipping,
roll-on roll-off ships and tankers.
View Terneuzen in a larger map
A busy day at
- a small village situated on the banks of the River Schelde,
with a very small harbour. Vessels travelling to and from Antwerp
pass very close to Walsoorden. The sun is especially good here in
the late afternoon and evening. You will need a car to get here as
there are no public transport links to Walsoorden.
There are two locations, one at the
entrance to the harbour where you can drive your car to the water's
The other is a breakwater to the
seaward side of Walsoorden, which ships pass close to. However, do
not use this location at high water as the wash from passing ships
can easily wash over the top of this breakwater!!!
View Walsoorden in a larger map
In the future I
hope to add more of my photography locations to this page....