The promise of a clear summer's evening was all the incentive I needed for a trip to the North Wales coast after tea.
My chosen location was an old sunset favourite, the West Shore beach at Llandudno.
At a latitude of 53°N the position of the sunset swings round from the southwest in winter to the northwest in summer, and can be seen all year round from this west facing viewpoint.
On this evening in early August, with thanks to my Photographer's Ephemeris app, I worked out where to stand to shoot a time lapse of the sun setting just off the tip of the Great Orme headland at the northwest end of the West Shore.
With beautiful clouds and a tide that had just started to recede I was able to shoot quite a dramatic sunset, but once the sun had all but disappeared I turned my camera to the west, where the late evening clouds were starting to glow magenta in the light of the just set sun.
The light show lasted for about twenty minutes before the cloud colours faded to grey, and I was just about to pack up for the drive back home when I noticed the lights of Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfecan starting to shine out in the gathering dusk across the waters of the mouth of the Conwy estuary.
So another re-positioning of the tripod and camera ensued, this time pointing to the southwest along the coast to catch the change from the cool blue tones of natural twilight to the orange glow of the towns' lights and the A55 expressway that also runs along the coast, with the added bonus of a waxing gibbous moon playing hide and seek in the clouds overhead.
Wow! So what started out as a planned short time lapse shoot of the sunset turned into a two hour marathon taking in three different views and lighting conditions.
Still, given the choice between a couple of hours by the sea or a couple of hours in front of a computer screen I know which I'd always choose!
Filename - llandudno sunset timelapse 3.mp4
Camera - Canon EOS 6D
Lens (1st sequence)- 17-40mm zoom @ 17mm
Lens (2nd sequence)- 17-40mm zoom @ 17mm
Lens (3rd sequence)- 17-40mm zoom @ 26mm
Exposure (start of shoot) - 1/320 sec @ f4, ISO100
Exposure (end of shoot) - 4 secs @ f4, ISO100
Filters (1st sequence) - 2 stop neutral density filter used to reduce the brightness of the sky.
Filters (2nd sequence) - Polarising filter used to enhance colours and contrast. 2 stop neutral density filter used to reduce the brightness of the sky.
Filters (3rd sequence) - 2 stop neutral density filter used to reduce the brightness of the sky.
Shooting interval (all sequences) - 6 seconds
Location - Llandudno West Shore, North Wales
This clip - HD 720p, 30fps
Clip duration - 26 seconds
All content copyright © Howard Litherland 2009-2017 unless otherwise stated.