St Audries 0 – Kilve beach 6

The initial plan for bank holiday weekend was to take a trip down to Dorset and the Jurassic coast to catch a sunset. Thankfully I saw sense and realised that on a bank holiday, the chances of being to able to get any decent photography done would be nigh impossible due to the sheer amount of tourist presence, and so a rethink was in order.

Cue Google maps!

As I always do when trying to find somewhere to shoot a sunset, places that I haven’t visited before anyway, I booted up google maps and started scouring the west coast to see if there was anything closer to home that looked favourable. Another really good program for this is google Earth as it lets you get a full on 3D view of anywhere on the planet, you can even get right down to ground level and get a good idea of the view in any direction, useful when shooting mountains etc.

After spending about an hour looking along the coast of Somerset, I was still struggling to find something that I thought would be suitable for what I wanted, and so at this point I thought I would hit up my mate Mark for ideas, and to of course see if he would like to join me!

For about 10 minutes or so we bounced ideas off of one another, I thought the Valley of Rocks could work, but again it would be a tourist nightmare and it was a little bit too far, the trouble with this area is that if you want to drive to the west coast of Somerset and Exmoor etc, there is pretty much only one road in, the A39, and if you get stuck in traffic on this road you are done for! Mark suggested we try St Audries Bay, to get to this location you have to park in a public carpark (£2) that is situated inside of St Audries Bay holiday park (West Quantoxhead, Williton, Taunton TA4 4DY) The bay is then a five minute walk from the car.

St Audries Bay

It was high tide when we arrived and to be fair, it was hard work! There is nothing of interest there when the tide is in and it just wasn’t working, but I think there is potential when the tide is right as there is some nice groins and also a very pretty waterfall that cascades down the cliffside onto the pebble beach, but sadly due to its location, I don’t think it ever sees any decent light. So anyway, we tried to make the best of it and I attempted a long exposure of the now barely visible groins, but to be honest, the rate at which the tide was coming in meant that during my exposure the pebbles kept moving and I struggled to get a sharp shot! I used my Nisi V6 holder with the landscape CPL, a Nisi 10 stop and Nisi 0.9 medium edge grad.

Here is the result of that…

St Audries Bay, Taunton – Nisi v6 Landscape, Nisi 10 Stop ND, 3 Stop Medium Graduated

Realising that this location wasn’t working for us, and the fact that we only had an hour before sunset, we resorted to Google maps once more. We started to look for nearby alternatives and the only alternative within our timeframe was Kilve beach. I have seen many a shot from this Jurassic beach (lots of fossils to found here) and to be honest, I have never felt compelled to visit, but seeing as it seemed to be our only viable option, we were left with little choice, but this was a choice that was to prove very fruitful indeed!

Kilve Beach

On arrival the light was looking fabulous, not quite as much cloud in the sky as I would have liked, but the colour was looking great. With a receding tide the beautiful rounded rock formations that were being revealed were just fabulous, and with sunset 15 minutes away the colour was already starting to hit the rocks causing stunning golden reflections. How can you go wrong when you have black and gold in the same scene.

The rush was on to get into position, in trying to find that perfect composition, both Mark and I got a good soaking on several occasions, but I just knew it was going to be worth it, I nearly changed my mind when a huge wave hit the rock ledges and broke at head height, soaking my new Nikon Z6 and my Nisi filters that were mounted to it.

Thankfully we persevered through the soakings and eventually found some good compositions using the rocks with a fabulous colourful sunset. On went the Nisi V6 holder with the Landscape CPL, I slotted in my favourite 0.9 Medium grad and I was ready. At this time we were also blessed to have just a few wispy clouds come into frame, breaking up the empty sky and adding some much needed colour and detail.

Kilve Beach, Taunton – Nisi V6 Landscape, 3 stop Medium Grad

Kilve Beach, Taunton – Nisi V6 Landscape, 3 stop Medium Grad

That is where our evening of photography ended, with what I think, are some wonderful photos…..

There is a moral here I think….

Don’t write off a location based on what others have done with it!



Chris Sweet

Lenslight Nisi Ambassador

Based in Somerset I am most at home along the stunning coast, shooting and vlogging....

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By |2019-05-08T11:01:03+00:00May 5th, 2019|Stories|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Mali May 13, 2019 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Great reading and some top tips and info for these areas! A very enjoyable read with some fantastic images from the day you seized! I would like to visit Kilve beach…

    Look forward to your next post Chris.

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