Sunrise Adventure At Porlock Weir, Somerset

Geoff on Sun 11 June 2017

  • Image Title: Porlock Weir Sunrise Photograph
  • Pentax K-1 Camera used:
  • Pentax FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens used:
  • 35mm Focal length:
  • f/11 Aperture:
  • 1/80 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

Photographing the sunrise at the quaint fishing hamlet of Porlock Weir in Somerset

Porlock Weir, Somerset is a picturesque hamlet, once a busy port, is a peaceful and delightful harbour for yachts and fishing boats. Situated along the South West Coast Path, Porlock Weir is also a good starting point for walks to Porlock Marsh and Culbone - home to England's smallest church.

Having seen several interesting photos of Porlock Weir and suggesting it to Mark as a location to visit on several occasions, its was with a little trepidation when the time came to actually visit, you see, despite the planning and research when you actually get to a location that you have built up in your mind as having such potential one often finds reality doesn't live up to expectations. Thankfully this couldn't be further from the truth on this photographic adventure.

Once again we set off from Worcester in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the trip should take around 3 hours to complete, so this meant leaving at around 12 am in order to be at the location in time to catch the sunrise which was timed for 04:59. Thankfully the journey down was pretty uneventful, as is usually the case, on previous adventures occasionally we have hit heavy traffic and pop up road works but, for the most part, the drive was straightforward enough.

Having arrived in good time, in fact 10 minutes earlier than planned, we pulled up at the ideally located car park next to the harbour and whilst scrambling around for change for the pay and display meter, we bumped in to an all night fisherman who, for his own reasons was cutting his adventure short, but was also kind enough to pass on his car parking ticket which still had several hours left and which would see us long gone before it ran out. As strange as this sounds I must add, meeting people at the time of night that Mark and I go out is very few and far between, in fact, I can only count 3 such occasions, where we have bumped into other folks, and all of them were all night fisherman. So, if you have worries of crossing paths with the wrong person you can take it from me, it's likely to be a fisherman. So perhaps adventuring in the dead of night up mountains and historic hill forts is a far safer bet than you might have originally considered.

Seascape Photography at night

Navigating the steep stony beach at Porlock Weir in the dead of night by head torch alone was an interesting experience, the darkness and the sound of the waves rolling up the shore edge created a deafening thunderous roar with each passing pull of the tide, the movement and creaking of the stones created a sensory overload for the ears and the imagination as we drew near the waters edge with only the small circle of illumination from the light of our head torches leading the way.

Having navigated several boulders and steep shingle embankments, there are several compositions to be had around the fast decaying sea defences. Old and decaying fishing boats can be found with the rotting groynes disappearing into the wash of the sea. In several locations, there are deep channel markers that create the perfect lead in lines for the photographer's eye to follow...

Stumpy Sticks & Stones
  • Image Title: Stumpy Sticks & Stones
  • Pentax K-1 Camera used:
  • Pentax FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens used:
  • 35mm Focal length:
  • f/11 Aperture:
  • 1/80 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:
The Witches of Porlock

Golden Morning Light

The morning light at Porlock was exceptional, the brightness of the sun caught the rising atmosphere of the sea water creating foggy and misty conditions that looked reminiscent of a Sci-Fi film.

Taking several long long exposures of the sea washing in over the rocks further added to the misty look and the movement of the clouds also helped smooth out and soften the strong sunlight, this light was short-lived and thicker cloud started to build behind us, with this in mind there was one more shot I wanted to capture from the location before calling time on the adventure and that was your classic harbor shot.

The Harbour Shot

Thankfully at this point, Mark had already lined up such a shot and called me over in typical fashion, a wave of his hand over his head and a sharp whistle! To my shock, I had lost track of the time and had become so caught up in shooting my SCI-FI themed imagery that I had not realised the incoming tide was starting to fill up the small harbour! I had to dash, a half jog come sprint, whilst trying not to drop my camera equipment I reached the harbour wall, the clouds were building and the light was changing very fast I had but a mere few seconds to compose and take my shot.

Porlock Sunrise Boats

D E P A R T U R E S
  • Image Title: D E P A R T U R E S
  • Pentax K-1 Camera used:
  • Pentax FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens used:
  • 34mm Focal length:
  • f/7 Aperture:
  • 24 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:
I N V A S I O N

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