My wife and I made the effort to seek some more spring sunrise sunshine on the bank holiday Monday. The weather had been clear for 2 days but I was too tired to grab it on the Sunday, settling for a sleep in. However the weather report for the Monday improved and we decided to go. Never been the cove before. We put the alarm on for 3.30am. We woke to the alarm and my wife made a flask of coffee and we set off – only taking about 25 mins to drive there on the obviously vacant roads.
Now one of the best things about Anstey’s Cove is the free parking – yes free and Torbay in the same sentence! The 5 min walk down to the cove is pretty steep but it’s amazing how much light there is at 4am. Sunrise was at 5.15am so gave me at least 30 mins to sort out a decent POV. The cliffs at Redgate Beach beside Anstey’s Cove have been the site of rock falls and the beach was still closed. But given the line of sunrise I don’t think it would have worked with the headland. The debate was whether to shoot from the cliff top or from the beach but I am a sucker for a decent pebble/stone/sea foreground and so opted for the beach. I used my 3 stop hard grad diagonally across the water as the was reflecting across at an angle. This worked well but I opted for 9 1ev bracketed shots to give myself the maximum dynamic range when blending as I was shooting into the sun direct. Usual settings ISO 100, f/8-f/11 or f/18 for sunbursts.
We waited as the red hue hit the distant clouds on the horizon, but the thick clouds from the south rolled in pretty quick and we thought at one point that it was all over. However there was a small gap in the cloud as we witnessed a huge red sunrise but this was quickly shrouded by cloud. As we waited the red hues became stronger and finally the sun peeped over and we were rewarded but rich red beaming rays falling onto the beach. These quickly turned to amber as the sun climbed into the sky. My wife fed me some home-brewed coffee as we sat together (my right arm pressing the shutter 😉 ). We moved up to the promenade and decided to include the railings as it would make a nice lead into the composition. We made our way up the cliff top but had to stop and capture some fabulous god rays to boot. We left quickly after the midges woke and started eating our heads!
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