Winter in England can produce some unexpected results by virtue of the country being exposed on the coastline to prevailing winds from opposite directions. These may be from east or west and be bearers of ice and snow having travelled over land masses and oceans from afar.
The west coast of England is blessed with a quality of light which can be very different to that possessed by the east coast. It seems less gentle and colder in tone than the east coast light, but this can be a pleasing quality for some images. Especially those featuring winter scenes as the tonal quality is enhanced by this type of light.
On this occasion during a winter break from work it had recently snowed but mostly thawed. Not expecting too much in terms of landscape image opportunities I ventured to the north Somerset coast lying to the south and west of my town. Not too far but sufficiently far away as not to be overfamiliar scenery. In my mind this is an advantage as a fresh surrounding may create opportunities for images freshly perceived.
The area of Brean Down is a promontory off the coast of Somerset, England, standing 318 feet high and extending 1.5 miles into the Bristol Channel at the eastern end of Bridgwater Bay between Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea. It faces west across the Bristol Channel. The area is thankfully unspoilt with a significant part of it being in the care of the National Trust.
Access is easy via some narrow roads which wind amongst the windswept dunes before emptying you directly on to the beach – beware the tides which can catch out the unsuspecting motorists who from time to time end up with a submerged car!
Being so exposed the beach is a favourite for kite flying and wind yachts.
Upon arrival the beach was largely deserted due to the temperature which was perfect for me.
The remnants of ice remained on the foreshore marking the boundary between sea and sand, like the foam of the waves, but in this instance being somewhat more lasting than the foam. The intensity of the afternoon sun on the ice crystals was perfect and the overall random shape forming a pleasing abstract diagonal perspective in the frame.
The whole area is well worth visiting at anytime of the year as it offers a lot of unspoilt views from the headland, the sand dunes and the beach.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor