An interview with Justin Minns
East Anglia is a wondrous part of the UK, with rivers winding through farmland and dune-backed sandy beaches. Justin Minns is an award winning professional photographer, who has devoted his time to capturing the magic of East Anglia. We caught up with Justin to find out about the area’s hidden gems and how to photograph them.
Have you always lived in East Anglia?
Yes, I grew up on the Essex side of the River Stour around the area known as ‘Constable Country’ and I now live a few miles over the border in Suffolk so I know this part of the world well.
What do you love most about the area?
The gentle landscape. Everything here, from the endless sandy beaches fringed with dunes to rivers, meandering unhurriedly through wide valleys, has a subtle beauty. It doesn’t shout, it whispers its secrets as softly as the swaying reed beds, discovering them is up to you.
What’s your favourite location to photograph?
I particularly love the coast – big skies and east coast sunrises, the salt marshes with their twisting creeks dotted with boats and the cries of wading birds as a soundtrack. Best of all you often have these places to yourself. It seems not everyone has discovered the region’s unique charms so keep it to yourself.
Do you have a favourite season to shoot in?
There’s something I look forward to in every season. Summer brings a splash of colour with swathes of wildflowers to photograph but by the end of it I’m looking forward to the cool misty mornings and muted colours of autumn. I love the crisp, frosty winter mornings and low afternoon sun but I think my favourite time is seeing all the fresh greens emerge in the spring as everything comes back to life.
Any hidden gems in East Anglia you wouldn’t mind sharing?
Literally hidden, Herringfleet wind pump is a beautiful wooden drainage mill tucked away near the River Waveney on the southern edge of the Broads. It’s a little off the beaten track so perhaps not as well known as some other Broadland locations but with plenty of different angles to shoot it from on offer, it’s worth the effort.
Do you have any tips for budding photographers?
Get to know your camera inside out so when you are out shooting you can concentrate on the important things – the composition, the light and what’s going on around you rather than worrying about what setting to use. I’d also recommend embracing the British weather – We all love sunny days but for photos with atmosphere get out on a crisp frosty morning, go for a walk in the woods on a foggy day or capture the dramatic light of the sun coming out on a showery day.
Which pieces of kit wouldn’t you leave home without?
Wellies, there’s nothing worse than wet feet. Those and my tripod. I shoot in low light a lot, low light means slow shutter speeds so it’s important to use a tripod to keep the camera steady. I also like to have the camera on a tripod so I can take my time, consider the composition and easily make adjustments.
All photographs have been kindly provided by Justin Minns who runs photography workshops at some of the most stunning places in East Anglia including Suffolk and Norfolk. If you would like to find out more about Justin’s work or book one to one tuition whilst visiting the area on holiday contact Justin directly. You may also wish to look at Things To Do Guide to help you plan your time in Suffolk.