Summer Solstice in Devon

Summer Solstice Plan

I'm always thinking about what my next YouTube video will be about.  I keep all these ideas in a notebook so that when I'm looking for a fresh idea I have some inspiration.  I was looking through the list the other day and I spotted something that I had added some time ago.  The idea was relatively straightforward.  On the day of the summer solstice, I would shoot one dawn photo and one sunset photo. 

With sunrise on the day being around 5 am I needed to go somewhere local.  I like to get to a location 1 hour before actual sunrise so wherever I was going to be I would need to be there for 4 am.  Now, I like getting up in the morning as much as the next landscape photographer, but even I was going to struggle to get up that early in the morning! 

So I looked at my custom Google locations map and spotted a favourite local location, Dawlish Warren beach.  Sure I would still need to get up at 3:15 am, but the weather forecast was good and the sun would rise from a direction that would give me some good light (hopefully).

For the sunset location, I would also need to go somewhere local.  I knew that when I returned from Dawlish Warren beach that I would still have the school run to do, then a full day of work, and then I had some family commitments.  In all likelihood, it would be nearly 8 pm before I headed out.  Even with sunset being around 9:30 pm, that didn't leave me a lot of time to get somewhere.  To be honest, even if I was able to get out earlier I didn't want to have a big drive to do when I'd already been up since 3:15 am!

I'm really fortunate that I live near Dartmoor so this seemed like a great place to go.  I was thinking about going to Bowerman's Nose, but as I had just recently shot a video there, I decided that a good option would be Emsworthy Tor.  Though Dartmoor would be busy in the evening with people watching the summer solstice sunset, Emsworthy Tor is a little bit further off the beaten track so should be a little quieter.  It's a classic Dartmoor location and if I were to get some good evening light I could be onto a winner.

So how did I get on?  Let's take a look at the video:

As I said in the video you can take a look at the images (plus a couple of bonus ones) in a bit more detail below.

Dawlish Warren

5:12 am, Nikon D750, Nikkor 16-35 f/4 @ 30mm, ISO 100, 4 seconds, f/13, Lee Filters Circular Polariser.

5:41 am, Nikon D750, Nikkor 16-35 f/4 @ 19mm, ISO 100, 30 seconds, f/13, Lee Filters Circular Polariser and Little Stopper.

Emsworth Tor

9:14 pm, Nikon D750, Nikkor 16-35 f/4 @ 24mm, ISO 100, 0.8 seconds, f/13, Lee Filters Circular Polariser.

9:22 pm, Nikon D750, Nikkor 16-35 f/4 @ 18mm, ISO 100, 1 second, f/13, Lee Filters Circular Polariser.

I hope you enjoyed watching the video and looking at the images.  Did you go out for Summer Solstice to do some photography?  What's the earliest you've ever got up in the morning to take a photo?  What's the latest time you've seen the sunset?  Let me know in the comments below.