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Hartland Quay Panorama #1

Rugged Atlantic coastline at Hartland Quay, Devon, England

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The story behind this image

On the advice of a friend at work who had lived in Devon for three years, my wife Liz and I took the winding country lanes through Hartland and onto Hartland Quay for a look at the coastal scenery of North Devon.

We were enjoying a two week break exploring the landscapes and coasts of Devon and Cornwall, and my friend's local knowledge was proving very useful.

As we got our first views of the coastline at Hartland Quay, driving down to the large car park at the Hartland Quay hotel, our collective jaws just dropped.

This was scenery on an epic scale, with huge sea cliffs comprised of rock strata tortured into impossible folds by titanic forces in ages gone by, battered by huge rolling waves streaming in off the Atlantic ocean which threw up vast spumes of spray as the restless sea collided with the immoveable rock.

Reaching out under the waves the incredible geology carried on, with jagged knife like rocks sticking vertically out of the water like the teeth on a giant's saw.

No wonder this place earned a fearsome reputation amongst those who had to brave the coast in wooden hulled ships, with numerous wrecks here over the centuries.

But enough prose, and having arrived and calmed down a bit I set to work to try and capture the nature of this amazing place in a series of photographs.

In the end we came back here on a number of occasions in different lighting, weather and tidal conditions, and it was amazing how photographs taken from the same spot could look and feel completely different.

This particular view is from the Hartland Quay hotel car park looking south along the Devon coast and features a dramatic set of sawtooth rocks pointing seawards at high tide on a relatively calm, sunny afternoon.

Even though the weather was relatively benign those rocks still looked very threatening.

I couldn't create the composition I wanted here in a single frame, taking in the cliffs, the waves pounding the pebble beach and the semi-submerged rocks leading out to sea, so I took multiple overlapping images in order to construct this panoramic collage giving a much better impression of the immensity of this coastal scenery.

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Image data

Filename - hartland quay panorama 01

Lens - 24-105mm zoom @ 24mm

Exposure - 1/60 sec @ f8, ISO100

Filters - Polarising filter used to reduce glare and enhance colours.

Location - Hartland Quay, Devon, England

Image enhancements - Adobe Lightroom

Comments - Panoramic collage created from multiple overlapping images.