Belle Tout Lighthouse, Beachy Head, England by Roger Davies

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Picture Story

It was dusk I was on the way home from capturing images the setting Sun at the Birling Gap. When I passed the Belle Tout lighthouse. It had become famous for a heroic feat of engineering when the lighthouse had been moved back 17 metres (56 ft) back from the cliff edge in the 1990s.

The Belle Tout’s lantern was shining upon the cliff edge above me and I decided to stop at the nearest car park and capture the lighthouse against the deepening blue evening sky. The light was starting to fade fast, luckily, I did not have to walk far from the car park to get a good view of the lighthouse.

I mounted my Canon EOS R on my old Manfrotto 055pro b tripod and made a test exposure. I decided that I needed a little more graduation in the sky to balance the deep dark shadows in the foreground, so I add a Lee .6 medium Grad filter to the Canon RF 24-105 IS USM lens.

As I was making a second test exposure a car proceeded around the bend in the road and up the hill leaving a light trail on the image. The light trail looked good but was not long enough. With the use of a Lee Little stopper I was able to increase the exposure time to 32 seconds at f/11, this increased the light trails considerably. The sky was getting darker with every second. I quickly connected the remote cable release to stop any movement of the camera. I had a short wait until another car came past along the road past the Belle Tout. That was more like the image I was aiming for. Soon the sky had turned black and it was time to leave. I had been able to make 4 or 5 long exposures that I was pleased with before darkness fell completely.


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