11 November 2021

Getting a good photo of the Low Lighthouse — Burnham-on-Sea's 1832 "Lighthouse On legs" — has been on my todo list for at least 15 years. I tried to shoot it in spring 2007, then again last summer, and yet again early in the spring this year.

But it turns out to be a tricky subject to get right. Famous for having its feet submerged, it's actually only reached by the highest of tides — around the neap tides the water never even comes close, so the sand is never swept clean of the many footprints. And facing west to sea, the time in the season and the conditions in the sky are especially critical here.

But in May, I had to visit Weston — the nearest Covid vaccine centre to Bristol with availability when they were released — so had another chance to give Burnham a try afterwards. And this time, the tides and the skies were just what we needed.

Shooting the star trails after sunset, you have to contend with the bright lights of Bristol, Cardiff and Newport. On this occasion there must have been some high cirrostratus clouds catching the brightest city lights and turning them into these light pillars.

Then soon the short night was over, and the early morning joggers and dog walkers came out in force to trample the sand once again.

As all the while the vast around-the-clock construction site at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station glowed on the far shore of the muddy River Parrett estuary.

I still haven't got the picture I imagined. But I've finally got some that I think might be worth posting.

Gallery: Somerset

Explore all of these photos and more in the Somerset gallery.

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