An amazing sunset to end a horrible weekend.

The weekend was rain, wind, overcast and more rain, it looked as though the weather would not clear at all over the weekend to even attempt to get out with my camera. However by Sunday afternoon there seemed what could be a short break in the weather. With the kids busy inside I decided to head out with my camera to at least get some fresh air.
I headed over to Birling Gap, Birling Gap is situated on the Seven Sisters not far from Beachy Head and is owned by the National Trust. I followed the South Downs Way track next to the car park and headed up Went Hill, about 0.5 miles up the hill is this tree which has grown sideways after a lifetime of being battered by the wind.

You can also reach this spot from the Crowlink lane carpark in Friston (also National Trust car park) the walk from there is around 0.7 miles, but much flatter than going up Went Hill.

I setup my Fuji X-T1 up with my Fujifilm 10-24mm lens and B+W 10 stop filter for some long exposures. The wind was really strong up on the hill, so had to shelter my camera as much as possible during the long exposures to ruduce any wobble for the wind gusts.

I tried a few different compositions with these shots, I wanted to also have The Belle Tout Lighthouse in the shot which you can see on the edge of Beachy Head.

Focal 20.9mm - ISO 200 - f16 - 30 seconds

I also had my HOYA Infrared R72 filter with me, its not one I use often, I originally brought it to use with some Ilford SFX 200 infrared film on my Mamiya RB67 (article here) but it also works great on digital and personally great for B&W photography. 

Focal 17.4mm - ISO 200 - f11 - 30 seconds

Another final photo of the tree and I think personally my favourite. Clouds came across really nice in this one and was starting to get more of a glow in the sky from the sun and some nice motion in the tree from the wind.

Focal 14.5mm - ISO 200 - f13 - 45 seconds

At this point there was a massive rain cloud heading over, so I started to pack up and head back down, by the time I had got to the bottom it had passed quickly and cleared again.
I decided to stay and have a walk along the beach at Birling gap, it was a nice low tide which revels some lovely rock formations, rock pools and a sandy beach.

The sky was starting to look nice and dramatic and it looked as though it may be a stunning sunset. I headed out onto the rocks for some photos before the sun went down.

Using my Fuji X-T1 and Fujifilm 10-24mm lens, this time with a Formatt-Hitech 0.9 Soft Edge filter attached to help balance the sky and foreground.

Carefully balanced tripod waiting for the waves to come crashing around the rocks.

And the shot
Focal 11.5mm - ISO 200 - f22 - 1/5 second

Looking towards the Seven Sisters
Focal 12.6mm - ISO 200 - f22 - 1/5 second

It started to seem very hit or miss if there would be a decent sunset, clouds were coming across heavy and with the strong wind is was changing very fast.
I headed over to the sandy area to try and get some nice reflection in the sand, the sunset itself was hidden by the clouds but the light afterwards was absolutely stunning.

You always find as soon as the sun goes down everyone else leaves. The amount of photographers you see pack their stuff up as soon as the sun is gone, they miss the best colours.

The final couple of photos were all taken after sunset, the sky had some amazing deep colours, got caught out a couple of times as the tide was starting to change direction and come in, so ended up with wet socks, but defiantly worth it.

Focal 13.2mm - ISO 200 - f4.0 - 1/15 second

 Focal 13.2mm - ISO 200 - f11 - 0.5 second

It was defiantly a very unexpected end to a weekend of horrible weather, and really pleased I got myself out.

Kit used on this shoot

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