Devon Sunrise


For once in the UK, May bank holiday weekend gave us some beautiful warm sunny days. So we found ourselves in the car and heading to Devon. My youngest son was playing in a football tournament and I took advantage of this to pack the camera and bag myself some seascapes.

We were staying in the the small town of Shaldon on the south coast of Devon. Not too far away was the popular tourist town of Dawlish with it's famous black swans and Isambard Kingdom Brunell's jewel in the crown of his Great Western Railway. With a small breakwater jutting out to sea I found myself drawn to long exposure image using a Lee Filters 10 Stop "Big Stopper" ND filter. Fortunately, the high tide coincided with sunset and I was the only photographer on the beach.


Tat night, an early alarm was set to wake me up in time for sunrise. I had decided to go visit a small beach near the town of Torquay where I could view a small rocky island known as Thatcher Rock. It got the name from small outcrop that looks like the silhouette of a thatcher at work on a thatched roof. The image I had in mid was another long exposure that used the different colours in the sky to create an almost seamless pastel background with Thatcher Rock featuring on the centre of the image.


I knew that this location had more to offer though and I can remember thinking to myself that I would like to get around the other side of the rock to capture the early morning light hitting the eastern edge. I didn’t have time to get to another spot that morning, so it would be another early morning visit the next day.

The following morning, I decided to head up onto the cliffs overlooking Torbay, so joined the South West Coastal Path and followed it around for about half a mile until I found a view point I was happy with. Again, due to the movement in the water, I wanted to create a long exposure image. As with the previous day’s image I decided that I was going to take the rule of thirds and throw it away. I wanted Thatcher Rock right in the centre of the frame with the horizon line spitting the image in two. Sometimes, these rules are there to be broken! 

If you are interested in a behind the scenes video of Thatcher Rock, please watch my YouTube video and remember to give it the thumbs up and subscribe!