Category Archives: Dawn

Gullible’s Travels to Saltwick Bay

Ever conscious that the blog is still getting neglected, I have decided to write an occasional piece on our travels.

The sun sets and rises in the sea at Saltwick Bay for a few weeks either side of the longest day, so this is a really good opportunity to capture a shot with the setting sun illuminating this spectacular scene. However a bit of research is needed as the access is limited by the tide, so consulting my tide tables revealed that there was a window of opportunity early this week. Add in the complication of needing the weather to cooperate and the window of opportunity closes even further. Looking at the weather forecast, I reckoned that Monday was a good bet and would still leave Tuesday and Wednesday if the weather didn’t play ball.

As I arrived in Whitby on Monday afternoon, the sky was clear and bright, then suddenly clouded over around 5.30. Still I headed over to the car park at the top of the cliff in the hope it would clear again. I’d brought my tent in order to be able to capture the sunrise the following morning, so had about 30kgs of kit to lug down the cliff path. Once the tent was pitched, I was able to have a leisurely meal whilst relaxing to the sound of the crashing waves. Not a bad life really! Meal over and I met up with my good friend John Potter and his friend Keith Foster and we all had a good chat whilst waiting for the sunrise to happen. Considering how few opportunities there are each year to capture this scene, I was actually very surprised that we were the only photographers there that night. Last year I had to queue at the wreck!


Keith favoured a position on the slab rock to capture the sun just poking round the cliff, whilst John and I set up nearer the wreck. As 9 pm approached (Sunset at 9.40) things started to get interesting and we thought we were in for something special. The sky did get good for a while, but ultimately the afterglow failed to light up the sky, so the show was all over before 10 o’clock.


Show over and John returned to his camper van whilst I bedded down in my tent, with the remarkably loud noise of the crashing waves to lull me to sleep. It actually was quite soothing and sleeping on soft sand is quite comfortable, even so I didn’t actually sleep very soundly.


It rained overnight and 3.30am soon came around! Sticking my head out of the tent showed it was very dull, so I went back to sleep for another hour. It was still dull at 4.30, but I was awake by now so it was time for action. In the end I busied myself taking some long exposures which I am actually quite pleased with, so it was worth staying overnight after all.


Part of the reason for camping was to test my gear for more remote adventures, so I busied myself making porridge and coffee, both of which were a success. John had obviously decided to have a lie in and the sky was still dull, so it was time to break camp. Camping on sand may be comfortable, but the sand gets everywhere and it’s a nightmare to pack up both the sleeping bag and tent when they are full of sand. Lugging 30kgs of gear back up that hill didn’t fill me with a great deal of enthusiasm either!

All in all a moderate success and I’m now looking forward to my next camping trip.

Riseborough Dawn

We woke up to a heavy frost and the promise of mist on low ground, so the much needed lie in went straight out of the window. We were going to have to work fast as the sun was going to burn through the mist quickly, so we drove up onto Riseborough bridge and caught the sun just rising through the mist over the Vale of Pickering, beautiful! After that we headed over Riseborough hill and down towards Normanby Grange where we continued to get the sun glowing through the mist giving some interesting silhouettes.

After Riseborough, we had a look at the bridge over the River Seven at Great Barugh, but were a little disappointed by the scruffy look to the scene, but Janet did manage to capture this interesting cobweb. After Great Barugh, we tracked back to Riseborough and were treated to some lovely warm winter light on the trees and mist with a beautiful view over the vale towards Wrelton.

By this time the sun was up and the glare was too harsh, so we headed home for a coffee and a warm up and a chance to review our morning’s work.


Castle Howard Dawn

One of the skills you need as a landscape photographer is to become a good amateur weather forecaster. So it was with mounting frustration that I watched the weather forecast predict 90% cloud cover only for me to miss several amazing sunrises and sunsets on days I wasn’t expecting them to happen!

Come Saturday evening the sky looked slightly pink again, but I decided it wouldn’t come to much only for the sky to light up like it was on fire moments later! There is a photographers saying that all the best sunsets are seen from the supermarket car park and I couldn’t agree more. Needles to say I went to bed on Saturday night in poor humour, but tomorrow’s always another day……..

We set the alarm for early and woke up well before dawn on a clear, frosty morning, so headed for Castle Howard. As we walked round the lake, the wild fowl were just waking up and making an amazing row. We were slightly disappointed by the lack of mist and colour in the sky, but still a beautiful frosty bright morning and a joy to out in the landscape.


Once we finished at Castle Howard, we decided to have one last go at shooting stock autumn colour, so headed off via Terrington woods to Hovingham woods. The colours were still vibrant in the woods and the light on the frosty grasses was wonderful, so we were not short of subject matter. By the time we’d got the shots we were looking for, the sky clouded over so we headed home happy knowing we had a few good shots in the bag.




I’ve been meaning to return to Flamborough for a couple of years, but other things always got in the way. I’ve been working on a project recording the Yorkshire coast at dawn and dusk for about 4 years now, but a couple of poor summers had meant I still had a few locations to complete and Flamborough was one of them.


I needed to test my new camping gear in preparation for my forthcoming St. Kilda trip, so this was an ideal opportunity to combine the two. I arrived mid afternoon and did a quick recce, then decided to book a campsite, but the first one turned me away on the grounds it was a family only site. I ended up on a site a couple of miles away, which wasn’t ideal, then after a quick sandwich and a drink and it was down to work. The glare of the hot afternoon soon gave way to warm evening light and Thornwick Bay proved an excellent place to capture the sun setting in the sea.


I managed to capture some nice stock shots, then just before sunset the sun burst through and cliffs were illuminated by golden evening light. Once these shots were in the bag, I returned to my vantage point to capture the sunset and I wasn’t disappointed. The pre-sunset sky was good, but the sky just lit up once the sun had set. Remember never, ever leave a sunset until well after the sun has set as the afterglow is often the best bit as it was last Saturday.


I returned to my tent and set the alarm for early and got a few hours sleep. 4 am soon came around and I headed to Selwick Bay a couple of miles down the road. The sky looked interesting as I made my way down the many steps to the bay, but as sunrise approached, the sky lit up as it had done the previous evening only much better and what a sight! It’s moments like this that really make getting up so early worthwhile. The pink sky lasted a full 10 minutes, so I was able to work both sides of the bay and capture several variations on the scene, so all in all a very productive 24 hours.


Loch Lomond October 2012

Loch Lomond is one of those places we’ve passed many times (Usually on the way to, or from a Hebredian island) and we’ve always said “ we must visit one day”. Well we finally decided that we must actually do it, so we hired a camper van and set off to capture some autumn colour and we weren’t disappointed. Despite being mid October we were blessed with 5 glorious days that also gave us several great sunrises and a couple of good sunsets.

As landscape photographers, we often talk about the “golden hour” of light just before sunset, but the warm late afternoon light we got had to be seen to be believed. We often say we feel privileged to be in such beautiful places in such gorgeous light, but we truly do feel that way and to be able to record it for others to enjoy is always a bonus.

Scarborough Sunrise

Conscious that we’d spent a lot of time framing pictures to replace ones that had sold recently and very little time actually out shooting, we made a last minute decision  to go to Scarborough to shoot the dawn last Sunday. As April draws on, dawn shoots become ever more anti-social so sunsets now have much more appeal as they happen late evening rather than the 4am start we had on Sunday! This means you can get your tea before you go and still get to the pub before closing time!

We had a couple of ulterior motives with Scarborough as it’s one of a few gaps in my coast dawn to dusk project, but we also have an exciting new exhibition coming up in Scarborough in July, so we thought we ought to have some Scarborough shots for that . More news to follow in the “what’s on section” coming soon.

As always with landscape, you are very dependent on the weather conditions, so we were a little perturbed when in snowed on the way to Scarborough! Conditions weren’t  great though but the squally conditions did give us some interesting skies, so it just proves the old adage there’s no substitute for getting out there and giving it a go.

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