The Severn Crossings

Geoff Moore on Sat 11 March 2017

  • Image Title: A Touch of Blue
  • Pentax K-1 Camera used:
  • Pentax DFA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens used:
  • 105mm Focal length:
  • f/5.6 Aperture:
  • 45 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

This mornings adventure to the Second Severn Crossing wasn't billed to be much according to the weather forecast with dull, lifeless skies with a heavy grey overcast to make it even more special!

The clocks are still to go forward but its now obvious that the mornings are getting lighter and earlier, the passing of the seasons from winter to spring can also be clearly felt in the morning air as its now becoming perfumed with the first hints of floral activity, even the wildlife are reacting to the changing season with birds chirping the dawn chorus with volume found only in the congregations of the Sunday morning church services of yesteryear.  Life feels good.

Into The Darkness We Go
  • Image Title: Into The Darkness We Go
  • Canon 7d Mark2 Camera used:
  • Canon 70-200mm F4 IS Lens used:
  • 70mmmm Focal length:
  • f/F4 Aperture:
  • 60 Sec Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

Architectural photography

The journey to photograph the second Severn bridge near Bristol was was just a quick trip of 50 mins down the M5 Motorway from our respective homes in Worcestershire, which by our usual standards of driving throughout the night and climbing stunning Welsh mountains is like popping around the corner. As we arrived at the small Gloucestershire village of Severn Beach, a couple of winding roads presented the Second Severn Crossing in all its architectural glory. It truly does dominate the landscape. However my first image was taken just as the morning light was building on the eastern horizon, the dark blue tones providing a stunning backdrop against the illuminated bridge, with Its towers and lights reflecting like piano keys in the still waters below.  But, before I move on to the Bridge(s) themselves its worth taking a moment or two not to gloss over the significance of the village the second Severn crossing bridge exists next too.

Perhaps the best description of Severn beech was penned by Matty Groves - Welcome to Severn Beach who has also produced a fascinating short documentary film on the people and residents. Unfortunately I'm unable to share it here on the page but please do follow the link before an interesting watch.

------ "Once named Blackpool of the West, Severn Beach was a popular holiday resort in the 1920s and 30s. The village boasted cafes, fairgrounds, a boating lake and an open-air swimming pool. Photographs from the time reveal dream-like images, like a utopian getaway for families and gentry. The development of the motor car and cheaper foreign holidays drew people away, deterioration crept in and by the 1960s the village's attractions had spiralled into disrepair. The swimming pool was demolished to make way for a titanic fortress like flood-barrier, the boating lake was filled in by the council and the cafes and amusements closed down one by one. Decade by decade the village’s identity slowly eroded away."

CITE: Matty Groves - Welcome to Severn Beach -----

Pictures of the second severn crossing

Despite its retirement to the annuals of history, all is not lost. Today Severn Beach offers a windswept stopping point for migratory birds, and sea life like Seals and Oysters. Its quiet, and its isolated feel allows birdwatchers, walkers and cyclists enjoy the incredible views north to the second Severn Crossing and south to the Avonmouth docks. For this part, is the reason for our journey to this long lost resort, photographing both bridges, the original Severn Crossing and its more recent twin the Second Severn Crossing, doing so is made very easy with a few minutes walk from the the village along the Severn Way foot path.

A Bridge In The Mist
  • Image Title: A Bridge In The Mist
  • Canon 7d Mark2 Camera used:
  • Canon 70-200mm F4 IS Lens used:
  • 138mm Focal length:
  • f/11 Aperture:
  • 1/30 Exposure time:
  • 100 ISO:

So, as is often the case with landscape photography the weather is always a random act of the gods, rarely can you rely upon the multiple sources of weather information on line, rather you just hope and see what the day brings, and this couldn't be closer to the truth. Having captured the early morning blue hour, I walked back down the sea path towards the second Severn crossing, sitting for a while on the sea wall, the mist and fog from the welsh mainland started to drift in at first softening the details in the distance and then starting to climb the foundations of the second Severn crossing bridge. Thus, what wasn't considered or even expected was to be blessed with a light and flowing 'Argh Sea Mist' or fog to my fellow landlubbers, this gave me chance to trying my hand at a little hi-key style photography. For those looking for more information on the location the following should help.

Background: The Second Severn Crossing is the M4 motorway bridge over the River Severn between England and Wales, inaugurated on 5 June 1996 by HRH The Prince of Wales to supplement the traffic capacity of the original Severn Bridge built in 1966.

Photo archivist Mike Edwards from Pilning & Severn Beach History Group has the following video on the location.

--- http://www.aforgottenlandscape...

Other Images from this adventure

Sea Wall Viewing Sea Wall Viewing
Under The Second Severn Crossing Under The Second Severn Crossing

How to get here

Enter your starting location on the box provided under the map to see the route from your starting location to Severn Beach

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