Getting to Know Dawlish Warren Again

Why Dawlish Warren Again?

Over the years I have photographed the beach a Dawlish Warren numerous times.  I've written about it my blog a few times and it's featured on my YouTube channel a couple of times.  So why do I keep going back here?  The simple fact is that I love shooting there.  Every time I go there the conditions are slightly different and so I get a slightly different shot.

It is also one of the closest photography locations I have to home.  I'm no stranger to driving for over 90 minutes to get a shot in Cornwall, but Dawlish Warren is less 30 mins from home making it nice and easy to get to.  It also works well as a sunrise location pretty well throughout the year.  It doesn't seem to matter if it's a grey overcast morning or an epic sunrise, there always seems to be a shot to be had.  So it's close to home, works well throughout the year and in varying weather conditions.  What's not to like!


Desperation and Frustration

For those of you who have read my blog over the last couple of weeks, you'll know that I've recently moved from the Nikon D750 to the Nikon D850.  This change in camera represents a step up in camera technology for me and when I made the decision to buy one (not a hard decision I might add), I made a commitment to make the most of my purchase.  

So when the D850 arrived on my doorstep on the day of release I was very keen to get out with my latest bit of gear.  However, the photography gods have not been kind to me since the arrival of the D850.  Photography is a bit of an all-consuming passion for me but I still have to balance my desire to go out with the camera, work a full-time job and being a family man.  

Over the last couple of weeks, the weather in Devon has been fairly unsettled.  It's not that there hasn't been great weather for photography, it's just that it never seems to have been on the days when I'm free to go out and take pictures.  It's not been a total disaster.  I managed to create a D850 video and head out to Trebarwith Strand, but I've been desperate to get out way more than that!

That's it!  I'm going out!

As my working week progressed and the days came and went without out any camera action I decided that I would go out at the weekend instead.  When I checked the weather forecast for the weekend it was generally overcast with light showers.  I was damned if I was going to let another weekend pass me by, so I was going to go out regardless of the weather.

I considered some woodland locations, but I thought I might leave those locations for a couple more weeks until the autumn colours really kick in.  Then while I was scanning through my custom locations map <insert link> I remembered about good old Dawlish Warren!  (If you haven't seen my video on creating a custom Google Map for you photo locations you really should - my map is always a great source of inspiration!).

Not only is Dawlish Warren a great location to shoot but I was also keen to see how the beach had changed since the end of the Beach Management Scheme works.  When I visited there for my Summer Solstice video the beach was having a significant amount of work being done on it.  Some of the groynes had been replaced and repaired, and more sand was being introduced to the beach areas.

Now the works have been completed I felt it was time to go and reacquaint myself with Dawlish Warren.  I was fairly also sure I could get an image despite the forecasted cloud cover.

A New Dawlish Warren

So has there been a significant change in the beach?  Here is the image I took so you can see for yourself.

Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 @ 22mm, f/13, 90 seconds, ISO 64, Lee Filters Circular Polariser and ND Grad.


For those who know Dawlish Warren beach, it may look just the same but most of the groynes have been repaired and strengthened giving them a slightly different look when viewed up close.  The woodwork looks fresher and the supporting poles are thicker.  To casual beach walker they may look the same but having photographed them for so many years I think they could make for some interesting new photos.

With that in mind, I will be heading back to Dawlish Warren again to shoot one of my 5 Minute Photo Adventure videos there.  Though I have featured Dawlish Warren in this video and this video I think it's time to make a dedicated video now that the beach works have been completed.   Now that I can automatically GPS tag my images on the D850 I hope to also start logging some accurate location data so I know which groynes I have photographed and which groynes I haven't.

So have you photographed the groynes at Dawlish Warren beach before?  Have you been there since the beach works have been completed?  What are your thoughts on the updated groynes?  Let me know in the comment below.