I was recently back down in Devon and took this opportunity to do a few early morning shoots of new places.
This one is of Daymark, in Kingswear Devon, which was built in 1864 by the Dartmouth Harbour Commissioners. It is a hollow, octagonal tower, 24m tall, constructed of limestone. It was built as a guide to mariners to the position of the harbour entrance and is visible for many miles out to sea.
This weekend was my first chance in a while to venture out with the camera. I had fairy poor luck with the light, After a stunning afternoon, the moment I arrived at my first London location, the light turned very flat and the scenery became very uninspiring. I used the opportunity to scout out locations for future moments, when the light was better.
I decided to wonder along the Thames and shoot the Millennium Wheel around sunset. However, I spotted this attraction on the banks of the river, close to the Wheel. It was the juxtaposition of the red in the Union Flag against the warm dusk sky that grabbed my attention, along with the big top circus feel of the blue and white striped arms.
At the end of my time in Cornwall and Devon this summer, I drove to a place called Sandymouth, a few miles north of Bude in north east Cornwall. The beach is a photographer’s Mecca, with rocks, sand, cliffs and westerly facing, so fantastic for end of day shots.
The tide was very high the day I visited and I would like to return when it has receded further, exposing more rocks and some sand.
Part of the Devon set from my time there in August. This was taken in Paignton, about 20 mins drive further south from Exeter than Teignmouth. Both towns have piers but Paignton was blessed with a more impressive sunrise the morning I was there.
This shot was taken moments after the sun crept over the horizon and was a long exposure as I was looking to create the illusion of a vanishing point aligned with the end of the pier.
The shot below was taken about 45 minutes later, from the other side of the pier. Again, I employed a long exposure to fill the vast sky with movement. The golden hour had past by the time I took this shot, with the cooler blue tones more apparent.
Exmouth beach, one of my favourite places to shoot, deep in the blue hour as the last remnants of the day concede to the inky blues and blacks of night time. This was well after sunset but the image of the moon almost perfectly aligned above the groyne gave this cool blue scene a sense of symmetry.
Taken a couple of weeks ago at Bantham Bay in Devon, the tide was receding, which allowed me to chase the water line without worrying about my footsteps. Unfortunately, there were no crashing waves on the rocks in the foreground.
As the light faded from golden hour to the blue hour, I took the shot below. The rocks on the right were already beginning to reflect some of the light from the rising full moon.
This is a shot of one of the stone jetties on Dawlish. The sky was overcast but there was some really interesting light breaking through. My HiTech grad filter has a purple cast to them, much like Lee filters have a slight blue cast, which coloured the sky. Juxtaposed next to the polarised sea, which looked green after a chopping night and the colours look other worldly.
Back in Devon, I started my series of 4am wake up calls, to get out and capture the early morning sun over Devon. On day 1, I headed down to Teignmouth, south west of Exeter. I chatted to a few dawn swimmers, including a lady who was in her eighties and had been pursuing a dawn bathing for over 40 years, which was the reason she moved to Teignmouth in the first place apparently.
The shot below was taken about 45 minutes earlier of the same scene, as the dawn light was breaking across the maritime vantage point. The sun never quite broke through the clouds but the sky was a glorious amalgam of purple, orange and pink hues.
Whilst in Cornwall, I visited a lovely little beach called Spit beach Par, just to the west of St Austell. To the right of where the footpath arrives at the beach, is a lovely expanse of sand. However, to the left, is this interesting, rocky area.
The evening when I was there, a local camera group were out in force, which did not surprise me as it was a great spot. The time of year to shoot the beach would probably be in the winter, when the setting sun would be more out to sea instead of over the land, as you can see in the image below.