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.
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.
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.
Over the weekend, I was down in Devon and had hoped to be able to shoot a more natural setting than my recent London city images. However, the weather had other plans. On Saturday evening, the miss rolled in and even before I arrived at Budleigh Salterton beach to shoot the end of day scenery, the fog meant that the view was very limited.
With the limited vista available, I ended up taking long exposure images of the waves lashing the shoreline. With no fixed point in focus, the end result is more reminiscent of a painting than a photograph. It also goes to show that even when you have poor light and limited options, there are still photographs worth taking.
Some days just feel darker and more moody than others. This was taken on a beach in Scotland moments before the heavens opened and drenched what was not already wet. I had camped out close by the previous night to the rhythmic sound of crashing waves. Although sinister looking, the location was actually quite invigorating, especially when trapped by the concrete walls of London.
I drove around Harris on my first evening, looking for the right vantage point for an end of day shot. I spoke to a local farmer, who recommended an isolate beach situated on the far side of his land. Once there, I had the whole place to myself and perhaps one of the finest sunsets I have been fortunate enough to witness. The colours were so vibrant, the water looked like it was gold, lapping against my feet.
The day had been a mixture of rain and clouds. For landscape photography, this can either mean a really interesting cocktail of factors or a nightmare in the making. Alas, the rain had meant that the morning had been a write off. I travelled the length of the north coast of the Isle of Lewis without finding the right ingredients for a memorable image.
After scrutinising a map, I noticed an interesting coastline option that meant transversing a local farmer’s land. With no one around to ask for permission, I trekked the 2km to the beach and found the stormy, isolate image above. This image is a 100 second exposure using a 10 stop ND filter. The long exposure robbed the photograph of some of the colour. To counter this, I put my longer prime lens on my camera and took a 2 second shot of a section of the same scene.
Having had a succession of great weather days, the Scottish summer finally set in on my third day in the Isle of Harris and Lewis. I was up well before 4am and had been walking around the beach looking for a good spot to shoot from, without disturbing the sand. This shot was taken at just after 5am, just as I was about to give in. The rain had been gradually falling since dawn broke and I was sure that there would not be a decent image to capture under such circumstance. I am glad I persevered. The light in this picture is quite eerie but I like it.