It has been a while since I posted a blog entry and the main reason is that I’ve been working on a site redesign, making it simpler and quicker. That is the site you’re viewing now! I did manage to get out in the snow and spent some time on the cliffs at Pennard and on Three Cliffs Bay.
I arrived at Southgate car park at 6am and promptly got stuck in the snow by driving to the bottom of the car park but couldn’t get any traction with the mud under the snow once I had stopped. I used the snow shovel I keep in the car, cleared a track and then parked in a more sensible place! Hiking boots on, I walked along the cliffs to a bench overlooking Pobbles where I spent some time taking photos in the dark. I used an astrophotography technique and set a high ISO with a small depth of field so I could see detail – it was so dark, I couldn’t line up the shot in the viewfinder very well as I couldn’t even see the bench! The photo was taken using ISO 1600 at f5.6 for one minute.
I then walked the somewhat slippery path down to sea level and then back up again to the point just before the Three Cliffs themselves. I took a few photos, but looking towards Oxwich it was rather hazy so I decided to use my Infrared camera which would see through the haze. This was a 20 second exposure as it was still some time before sunrise.
I wasn’t sure what to do next as it was so cloudy – I was sure sunrise wouldn’t be very good. There was snow on the beach so I decided I ought to go down there anyway. The path down to the beach is little more than a sheep track on the edge of the cliff and the snow made it far more interesting. On the beach, I saw colour suddenly starting to appear in the sky but I was the wrong side of Pennard Pill! I tried a couple of exposures, but neither were great. The colour then got better and better – it was decision time. I was too far from the stepping stones so the decision had to be to wade across Pennard Pill and get wet feet. The other side of the river, the adrenaline of such an amazing sky kicked in and, unusually for me, I ran around trying to cover as many viewpoints as I could. As it turned out, the colour lasted for half an hour or so and I had time to make a few exposures before getting my tilt-shift lens out of the bag. The grass in this photo was about 20cm from the lens, but the tilt-shift allowed me to keep everything sharp from front to back. I used a 0.6 hard grad for the sky.
I have been wanting to photograph sunrise at Three Cliffs Bay in the snow for years and finally got my wish – I was so pleased I went out. I have more photos to process including a panorama, but that’s for another day.
Despite crossing Pennard Pill twice in water higher than my ankles, my feet stayed dry!