Burnham-on-sea low lighthouse by Matthew Holland

Burnham-on-sea low lighthouse

With our original plans called off due to poor weather, we opted to change countries we were visiting and stayed in England. To our surprise the weekend was going to bring plenty of sunshine and two bright colourful sunrises and sunsets.

To kick off the day, which was by now planned, we began at Burnham-on-sea to capture the lighthouse at high tide during sunrise using long exposure for a minimalist look.

Although I have visited the area before, I forgot how quick the tide moves – working with long exposures and a very fast tide prooved to be quite difficult. As soon as I was set up and half way through the exposure, the tide had wiped passed and left me with wet feet.

This is all fine but not for the tripod – the area has sinking sand and mud – which proved troublesome to keep stable. I had to wait for the tripod to settle before hitting the shutter and beginning the 60 second exposure. Add this fast moving tide in to the mix and there was almost no hope.

Abandoning the idea of standing close to the lighthouse, we ventured further back where in hindsight should had started from. However, the beach was littered with rubbish, debris and branches, making the foreground cluttered and messy – hence the original idea of working closer to the subject.

Once the tide had reached its high point, we had only moments before it began to recede and head back out. This was by far the most interesting and fast acting long exposures I’ve had to manage. I will most certainly return to the area to find other compositions along the lengths of these shores.