Bedruthan Steps – The Longest Day..

Rather like buses, you wait forever for a Chillbrook Sunset and then a whole bunch of them come along at once.  Well, I couldn’t ignore that here in the northern hemisphere we had our longest day yesterday.  Always a bittersweet moment but one I thought I’d record this year.  So, yesterday evening I decided to head out to Bedruthan Steps, on the north coast of Cornwall, to record the sun going down on the summer solstice.

A solstice occurs when the sun’s zenith is at its furthest point from the equator.  During the June solstice it reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at about 23.5 degrees. This happened at 11.51 AM BST (British Summer Time, one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time).

Sunset was at 9.34 PM, according to Google for my location, so I set off at about 8.30 to see what I would see.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Armed with a 14-24mm lens, a Lee SW150 filter holder and a Lee 150-170mm .6 ND Grad I was all set.  At 14mm, I was able to frame the setting sun and the magnificent Bedruthan Steps, reflecting the dying rays of the sun.

Click on any of the images for a clearer, sharper view. :-)

Summer Solstice - Bedruthan Steps14mm f/8 1/25 sec. ISO-100 – Taken at 9.22 PM

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Bedruthan Steps - Summer Solstice I14mm f/8 1/15 sec. ISO-100 – Taken at 9.35 PM, the sun was setting a few minutes later at sea than inland of course..

40px spacerBedruthan Steps - Sunset14mm f/8 1/2 sec. ISO-100 – Taken at 9.56 PM

40px spacerBedruthan Steps Sunset14mm f/22 30 sec. ISO-100 – Taken at 10.14 PM

40px spacerAnd the day was done.. In the final image above, you can just pick out the light from Trevose Head Lighthouse on the farthest Headland.

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101 responses

  1. Glorious! Beautiful setting, fantastic light and, of course, your craft. It’s many years since I’ve been to Bedruthan Steps.

    June 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    • Thank you Sue. Bedruthan Steps is one of those places I go to quite often, it’s only a few miles away and with the National Trust Tea Room there selling rather nice cakes and teas, it’s quite a treat. All shut up though last night unfortunately.

      June 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      • Oh, of course, it’s National Trust now….can you still get onto the beach at low tide? I must search out my old slides for nostalgias sake, although theŷ might have deteriorated, I don’t remember what film I was using then.

        June 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      • I would love to see the pictures Sue! :-)

        June 22, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      • I think they might be a bit ordinary, no sunrises, sunsets or clever light but I must dig them out!

        June 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      • It would still be good to see them Sue, I love old photos! :-)

        June 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      • Well, I found them today, just scanned them in, so hopefully when Ifeel more alive, I’ll get them posted…1986 it says on the slides! Yikes!

        June 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      • 1986, my first year at University.. it can’t be THAT long ago, surely.. :-)

        June 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      • Sure was….

        June 24, 2014 at 5:34 pm

  2. Wow, what a stunning series of photos, superb colour and light.

    June 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    • Thank you very much David. It’s easy when you’ve got such a fabulous land/seascape to work with and the weather is just right. It all came together last night. :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:23 pm

  3. Wow. As always enjoying the photos. These are dazzlers.

    June 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    • Thank you very much Bumba! :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm

  4. Beauties!

    June 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    • Thank you Kate, much appreciated! :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm

  5. Amazing colors in sunset and beautiful light

    June 22, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    • Thank you so much as always Lou! :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm

  6. pictogrammer


    June 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm

  7. Your images are so beautiful it’s painful! When the weather is as good as it has been lately I get the urge to head back to the West Country – actually I love it when its rough down there too…OK, I’ve been missing it quite a lot lately….Anyway, I think top landscape photos should definitely stir the emotions and yours certainly do that, sincerely, thank you :-)

    June 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    • What a wonderful compliment Scottie. Thank you so much. I hope you make it down this way sometime soon. The weather is just perfect at the moment. I do hope it lasts and we actually get a summer this year. Right now I can smell BBQ on the evening breeze. Someone somewhere is making the most of the evening.. :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm

  8. Beautiful shots, we had overcast weather all of yesterday for the solstice. I like how in your shots the definition in the waves gets smoother and smoother as the exposure times get longer.

    June 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    • Thank you Ben. I mainly included the last shot for that very reason, the smoother ocean. In fact I whacked the f number up to 22 just so as I could extend that exposure time just a little bit more to get the effect I was looking for. I would have stayed longer but it was getting quite chilly up there on the cliff. Where are you based now Ben? Must be hard to be away from home where the weather is as good as it is right now.

      June 22, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      • I currently live in Poland. The summers are sunny and hot, although you get some big storms from time to time which is a nice relief from the heat. Today we have nice clear skies.

        June 23, 2014 at 4:35 am

      • Good to hear the weather’s good, definitely not always the case here as you well know but the weather this last few weeks has been stunning. When the sun shines in Cornwall there’s nowhere like it. I was in St Ives today, another friend visiting, and the beaches were looking tropical – 86 degrees, just perfect. Of course, dipping one’s toe in the water brings the sudden realisation that Cornwall is definitely in northern climes with sea temperatures to match. :-)

        June 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm

  9. Utterly marvelous sunset, dear Chilli! Also great timing catching the light from the Lighthouse.

    June 22, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    • Thank you Gunta. It was a lovely way to spend the evening. As I said to Sylvia, the lighthouse blinked on just as I was about to pack up. I was happy to catch it. :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:17 pm

  10. poppytump

    My word ChillB – what a truly beautiful sunset series you’ve treated all of us to here .. right from the sun’s bright but fading glory to that tiny twinkle in the distance of Trevose Lighthouse … I can imagine you were well in the zone up there on the headland with that scene before you :-)
    … with those magical colours and an ocean so serene and hushed as twilight draws a close to the day … ah .. ’tis just perfect x

    June 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    • Aww thank you Poppy. It really was lovely, just crouched there on the cliff, hushed but for the sound of the waves and the cries of the gulls. Someone took a picture of me taking pictures. I’m not sure what that was about. I’m probably now on someone’s Facebook page somewhere. In the zone for sure, just watching the sun and clicking the remote shutter release every now and then as the light changed. Perfect as you say! :-) x

      June 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      • poppytump

        * marvellous ;-)

        June 22, 2014 at 9:59 pm

  11. Reblogged this on Mistrz i Małgorzata.

    June 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm

  12. Ah yes, I see the light from the lighthouse. :) Fantastic shots, Adrian. You did a great job here.

    June 22, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    • Thank you Sylvia, the lighthouse blinked on just as I was about to pack up. :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

  13. Nice series. Your really must have had a great summer solstice! No such thing here, no view, no sunshine. ;)

    June 22, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    • Thank you Bente. I’m sorry to hear you summer solstice wasn’t sunny. We’ve been having some fabulous weather in Cornwall for a change. After five years of very wet, stormy summers, it’s lovely to be enjoying some sunshine for a change. I hope your weather improves soon!

      June 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm

  14. Gorgeous….the second shot is my favourite because I love the variety and depth of colours in the sky and the sunlight in the sea and on the cliff face is lovely and warm.

    June 22, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    • Thank you Mark! Much appreciated! :-)

      June 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

  15. A wonderful series of shots. Absolutely stunning!

    June 22, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    • Thank you Isabel. Much appreciated as always! :-)

      June 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm

  16. A wonderful set of photos, Adrian. Once again, you’ve come up trumps with some great colours.

    June 22, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    • Thank you very much Malcolm. Much appreciated! :-)

      June 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

  17. Beautiful images Adrian. I love sunset shooting, especially when the skies are as glorious as these! Great post!

    June 23, 2014 at 2:36 am

    • Thank you Tina. Sunsets are not normally my thing, I tend to go for sunrises simply because I’m just better that end of the day, but this one was a real treat and I’m so glad I made the extra effort. :-)

      June 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

  18. RK

    Very beautiful pictures of the sea and the sunset :)

    June 23, 2014 at 11:46 am

    • Thank you very much Robert!

      June 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm

  19. WOW…these are just gorgeous Adrian

    June 23, 2014 at 11:50 am

    • Thank you Edith! :-)

      June 23, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  20. A slice of perfection.

    June 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    • Thank you Mary! :-)

      June 23, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  21. Glorious images, Adrian!! You rock. :D

    June 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    • :-D Thank you Camilla!

      June 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm

  22. What a beautiful set, Adrian. To sit there and watch this evolve with the final twinkle of the Lighthouse must be one of life’s greatest pleasures.

    June 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    • Thank you Andy. It really is one of life’s greatest pleasures and it doesn’t cost a thing. It was a magnificent show, I was captivated. With the camera was all set, I needed to do nothing more than just click the remote every now and then and adjust the shutter speed downward periodically. I was free to sit and enjoy.

      June 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

  23. Just beautiful – each one has its own charm

    June 23, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    • Thank you Kathy! :-)

      June 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm

  24. The most beautiful series – these must have been glorious moments! Knowing your skills it must have been very satisfying work.

    June 23, 2014 at 9:07 pm

  25. I hope it’s OK for me to reblog these beauties!

    June 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm

  26. Reblogged this on Leya and commented:
    Solstice in Cornwall – there’s no one like Chillbrook to capture it.

    June 23, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    • Thank you so much Leya. I really appreciate the reblog, it’s a pleasure. :-)

      June 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      • :-)

        June 24, 2014 at 9:57 pm

  27. Wow!! I’m glad you could be there, Adrian…..thank you. :)

    June 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    • It was a absolute pleasure Scott! :-)

      June 25, 2014 at 8:47 am

  28. Hi Adrian – here you can see my ancient images:

    June 25, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    • Thank you Sue. I enjoyed the pictures. They’ve survived remarkably well haven’t they? Lovely shots of one of my favourite places! :-)

      June 26, 2014 at 7:54 am

      • Excellent! Glad you liked them :)

        June 26, 2014 at 9:26 am

  29. Oh, wow! Wish I were there with you. I visited Bedruthan Steps in April – first time I think – during the day and the tide was in so couldn’t get down to the beach. Great walk though and lovely NT cafe. I think I am going to have to follow you and it’s all the fault of that Sue Judd :-D

    June 25, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    • I’m glad you had a good trip. Shame about the tide. So often when I’m wanting to do a shoot, the weather is right but the tides are wrong or the tides are right and the weather is wrong. It does work out occasionally though thankfully. ;-) The NT cafe is good isn’t it? I’m particularly partial to the coffee and walnut cake I have to say. Thank you for the follow, so many blogs so little time I know.. I hope you enjoy the posts. :-)

      June 26, 2014 at 7:58 am

      • Well we want to move down to Cornwall so your pictures will just encourage me more :) AND we share the same love of coffee and walnut cake! I browsed through your portfolio – such wonderful photos – you really are extremely talented.

        June 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      • You are too kind but thank you! I hope your plans come to fruition! :-)

        June 27, 2014 at 7:23 am

  30. Brilliant in every way!

    June 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    • Thank you Elena, much appreciated as always. :-)

      June 26, 2014 at 7:59 am

  31. gorgeous colors and view :)

    June 26, 2014 at 6:56 am

  32. 9.22 is my favourite but that last one is lovely too. I squinted very hard and I could just make out the lighthouse :) Thanks for the beautiful images.

    June 26, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    • Mine too Jo! Thank you! :-)

      June 27, 2014 at 7:24 am


    Magical light! Leya sent me, so glad she did!

    June 27, 2014 at 1:20 am

    • Thank you for coming! :-)

      June 27, 2014 at 7:25 am


        How could I not ???

        June 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

      • :-)

        June 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm

  34. Such intense colours! Love the series – and the stunning landscape. May favourite of the lot is the first one, I guess it’s just the beautiful light from the setting sun that makes the difference.

    June 27, 2014 at 1:21 am

    • Thank you Otto, it was a stunning sunset. The first is my favourite also!

      June 27, 2014 at 7:25 am

  35. Very professional control of contrast in all your variations. One wonders if the ancient occupants of your Island noted the movement of the sun from the same vantage point.

    June 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    • Thank you John! An interesting thought. There are several beacons and a few stone circles round and about!

      June 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm

  36. Wow …. stunning images – had one of my best holidays in Cornwall – the scenery is breathtaking. My pick is the last image. Fantastic work.

    June 28, 2014 at 9:11 am

    • Thank you very much. Glad you enjoyed Cornwall so much! :-)

      June 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      • We were so luck with the weather too *smile – 8 days of sunshine glued our backs. *smile

        June 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      • That really is lucky!

        June 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      • I know! *smile

        June 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

  37. Such an inspirational and beautiful coastline, you do it justice Adrian!

    June 30, 2014 at 8:08 am

    • It really is Randall. I just love the north coast and get out there as often as I can which is not often enough.. Thank you for the nice words. I do my best. :-)

      June 30, 2014 at 5:34 pm

  38. Dreamy beautiful. You inspire me to *try* and get up earlier! :-)

    June 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    • It’s always worth the effort in my experience! :-)

      June 30, 2014 at 6:31 pm

  39. Great picture! Beautiful constrast!

    June 30, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    • Thank you very much! :-)

      June 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm

  40. Amazing location. The light and colors are fantastic, beautiful collection.

    June 30, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    • Thank you Tom. It’s one of my favourite places although living in Cornwall, I have many!

      June 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm

  41. Fantastic pics!

    July 15, 2014 at 9:02 am

    • Thank you very much Lou! :-)

      July 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

  42. Remarkable set of photos,
    Best wishes, Aquileana :D

    July 16, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    • Thank you Aquileana! :-)

      July 18, 2014 at 7:54 am