Birling Gap &Seven Sisters

We finally made it!! We had been planning to do a trip to this location for weeks, and various things had got in the way up until this night.

We had vaccine side effects, bad stomachs, bad weather, and too many tourists all stopping us over the last few weeks – but finally we were there.

The location was about an hours drive for us, so we had to time it right to leave after the traffic had died down, but still leave enough time to hike to the best spots, and to enjoy the sunset.

We arrived around 7.30pm, found plenty of space in the car park (which was free to park that late in the evening), and started to hike the mile or so to the location. It was an uphill hike at first, past an old light house, which I couldn’t resist photographing as we passed.

Old Lighthouse – 18-55mm – F11 – 1/800 – ISO100

Once past the lighthouse, we descended to the area I had chosen, through some gorse along the cliff path. We stayed away from the cliff edge, as there had been some obvious erosion in recent times.

As we approached I was getting excited for the photography, the clouds were setting up nicely for a great sunset – a big cloud bank which had covered the sun when we arrived, was breaking up as it passed the sun, and as the sun got lower, I thought it should pop out below the cloud, and give us a display.

I set up with the tripod, and as seems to be my new routine, I took a few shots with various settings, including using the ND filter for some long exposure.

First shot – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/200 – ISO160
Long Exposure – 18-55mm – F20 – 1.6sec – ISO100
Long exposure – 18-55mm – F20 – 2sec – ISO110
Ever changing light – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/200 – ISO125

After a while, I had a few shots under my belt, and could see below that access to the beach was possible. It looked like the angle of the sun would still provide some light and reflection on the water, so we ventured down. We descended the man made steps to the beach… was a little busier here, but easy to find some space to take photos. I opted to take these shots handheld, as the beach was quite steep and the waves were a little unpredictable.

First beach shot – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/800 – ISO180
Beach – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/640 – ISO100

We made our way back up to the original spot, as the sunset was now setting up nicely. On route I spotted a nice place to attempt a lensball shot on a small wall overlooking the beach.

Lensball wall – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/125 – ISO100

Once back in the spot, I set the tripod back up, and took some more shots with and without the ND filter – the ever changing light meaning that settings were changed between every shot. The shutter speed was low now, even for photos without the ND filter, so I had to use a 2 sec delay to take the shots to avoid any movement when pressing the shutter button.

Back in the spot – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/250 – ISO100
Long exposure – 18-55mm – F13 – 1sec – ISO110

I found a small block of chalk that I could rest on the tripod to sit lensball on, and took some shots hand held. I also tried getting my partner to hold lensball in front of the camera while it sat on the tripod, but this was much more tricky.

Lensball chalk stand – 18-55mm – F10 – 1/160 – ISO125
Handheld lensball – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/160 – ISO110

The cloud started to cover the sun after this, and although the view continued to look great, we had a hike back to the car, and a long drive home, so we packed up and headed back about 8.45pm. A few last shots to share:

Long exposure – 18-55mm – F20 – 3sec – ISO110
Lensball chalk stand – 18-55mm – F20 – 1/20 – ISO110
Going down – 18-55mm – F20 – 1/50 – ISO125
Gone – 18-55mm – F20 – 1/15 – ISO110

On the hike back, we kept turning round to take in the view, and the sky remained light almost all the way home. A great evening, and one I had been looking forward to doing for some time – Can’t wait to go again.

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