Start Point in New Light

Start point at sunrise. 16 mm HDR, f 22, late September

Start Point is a promontory on the coast between Dartmouth and Salcombe in South Devon. It shoots out towards the east, and if you sail along the English coast you have to round Start Point. At the end of it is a lighthouse tguiding the sailors entering (or leaving) the English Channel. On the south sight of the promontory are beautiful rugged rocks that come to sight at low tide.

I went there the first time on the 20th of September hoping to catch the rising sun, but it was hidden behind the cloud bank at the horizon. See my previous blog, A lovely disappointment! However, I was intrigued by the beautiful cloud formations and the opportunities that the coast would offer in the right light and with a low tide. So, I came back a week later. It was still a cloud bank at the horizon, but it only obscured the sun the first 10 minutes or so and then the sunrays broke through and lit up the promontory.

In September the sun is rising just south of Start Point, so the image will catch both the backlit rocks and grass and the sun itself. For the photographers among my blog readers, the image is an HDR composite of two images, one exposed for the ricks and one for darker for the sun and the sky. It is captured with a wide angle lens at 16 mm and f 22, to get the star ray effect.

Below here I have again included the same image captured from the same part of the promontory but a week earlier with the lovely clouds but no sun shining on the headland.

Start Point a week earlier with the sun hidden behind the cloud bank and a higher tide but with beautiful cloud formations

Start Point and its lighthouse from the rock ledges at low tide. 42 mm

From my vantage point capturing the first image I walked southwest in the morning sun and photographed the rocks shooting out below me. Then I climbed down onto the rocks exposed be the receding tide and looked back towards the lighthouse further away. The second image below is taken by a 24 mm Tilt and Shift lens to get everything sharp from the rocks very close to me in the foreground to the lighthouse in the background.

Down here on the rock ledges the seals were barking and curiously shot up through the water now and then to take a closer look at me. Foolishly I didn’t bring my tele lens with me but captured the seals basking in the sun with a 70 mm zoom. I blew up and cropped the image to get what you see below, where you can see the seals lying on the rocks enjoying the morning sun.

The rock ledges to the south of Start Point with seals sunbathing on the rocks. TS-E 24 mm

Seals basking in the morning sun

Walking back from the encounter with my barking and basking friends, I captured a view of the south coast looking west along the coast (image immediately below). On the other side of the cape, you can see at the top left end of the image, is the entrance to Salcombe harbour.

And on the other side of Start Point looking north you can in my last image (the bottom image) see Start Bay, a vast expanse of sandy beach and behind the beach you can just discern Slapton Ley, which is the largest freshwater lake in southwest England. It is a nature reserve famous for its bird life.

The South Devon coast with the entrance to Salcombe Harbour beyond the cape at the top of the image

Start Bay