A weekend trip to Bigbury and Bantham was on the cards about a week ago. My wife and I had never been despite living in Devon now for 9 years and thought it was about time. I had liked a shot that a TOG friend had taken recently, Neil Porter, and he kindly gave me some tips about getting there and tides etc. So I looked it up and researched it on google. The Saturday evening weather forecast was looking clear, the tide times indicated at 8.30 the tide was out but on its way in and I found a car park that wasn’t locked at 9pm – Thanks Neil!
The scene was set as we drove down and parked arriving at 4pm. We had taken a packed lunch and my wife was keen to do some walking. We parked at Thurlestone and walked the 2 miles of the SW coastal path to Bantham Beach. I was keen to try out my new bargain Canon 50mm f/1.8 on the way over taking photos of the cliff top flowers. It’s a surprising nice lens, fast (not really that noisy) and very light. Pretty sharp too!
We made it down to the beach after about 30 mins and was greeted by a huge sandy expanse and some interesting rocky outcrops arising from the ocean. I did a quick recce as we had plenty of time. Given the tide was out the POV that Neil had shot would be unavailable with the tide so far out so I scouted around to find some others. I am a bit obsessed with shooting into the sun as it’s one of the greatest challenges both in camera and in post.
We had out packed lunch and walked along the beach for an hour then we parted company as my wife went for a exploration of the area on foot while I set up camp on the rocks. This gave me plenty of time to get ready for ‘golden hour’ and after faffing with lenses and filters I finally decided on my 17-40mm. I wanted the rocks to catch the light and wan;t too bad about the size of the sun given how bright it was knowing I was going to use a highest f/stop to get some flare.
The hour wound down and I was pleased at the landscape and portrait compositions I was getting even if the golden light was not at its peak. I managed to swap lenses to my 24-105mm to get a few silhouetted shots of the island before the final swap as the sun disappeared behind the distant headland. I was just about to pack up when the clouds that had rolled in behind me lit up in oranges and reds. The sky was almost like a giant rainbow and I set about trying a few compositions to get the colours reflected off the rock pools and ocean which, when I got home, had worked better than I had expected.
As the blue hour advanced and the colours diminished I packed up and we set about the 25 minute walk back along the coast in the dark. Well dimpsy light really as you can see for quite a while after the sun sets. We got back home at about 10.50pm and I found it hard to sleep after the activities of the day knowing that the images were safe on backing them up on my computer. A fabulous day out and one I would recommend to anyone!