Category Archives: Sunset

Out and About Around Brighton

In between all the foxes I’ve been spending a little more time out and about with the camera. Still all in the local area, but finding new subjects and places to explore. A few days ago I decided to explore the area opposite one of my usual haunts (Sheepcote Valley) and took a wander along the tracks that run between the meadows on the north of the main road. It was an eye opener. There were some lovely views across the valley, and loads of horses in paddocks.

horse in paddock

Horse in paddocks around Woodingdean, East Sussex

portrait of horse's head

Portrait shot

white hrose

White horse with view of houses in the distance


Loved the colours on this horse and the soft reflected sunlight on the distant hill

That’s an area I’ll certainly be re-visiting.

A few days later I was really bold and wandered down into Brighton proper. I did have a particular subject in mind… the murmuration of starlings that takes place at sunset around the Palace Pier, but I was there much earlier which gave me some time in the afternoon. Apart from the usual shots of the i-360, I spend an age watching the Brighton Bubble Man entertaining the small crowd alongside the West Pier. The bubbles he creates are huge. Here’s just a few shots that worked out ok. Worth stopping by if you are ever down there.

giant bubble

Child’s hand reaching up to a bubble

Giant bubble framing the West Pier

Bubbles over the West Pier (by The BubbleMan)

A cup of coffee and a slice of cake later, the sun was beginning to go down and I got ready for the main event. Sunset was at 5.16pm and at 5.00pm I was still wondering whether anything would happen. There were starlings to be seen. But nature knows its stuff and as the sun went down below the horizon, small flocks of starlings started to gather and very quickly merged into a massive flock. And then they started the sky painting. This was my first attempt at murmurations and I made a few mistakes. I should have had more of the western sky in the shot (better colours), but my aim was to also grab plenty of the pier itself for context. I tried to keep the shutter rate high (above 1/250 with a decent depth of field). Inevitably it gets more difficult as the light disappears. I’ve included shots where the classic shape of the murmuration is more evident.

murmuration of starlings at Brighton

Murmuration of starlings at Brighton Palace Pier

murmuration of starlings at Brighton

Murmuration of starlings at Brighton Palace Pier

murmuration of starlings at Brighton

Murmuration of starlings at Brighton Palace Pier

I mentioned the advantage of looking west to catch the true colour of the sunset. These were taken shortly before the sun disappeared.

sunset brighton beach

West Pier (and i360) at sunset

sunset brighton beach

West Pier (and i360) at sunset

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II. I used the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM for the horses and the EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS II USM lens for everything else.

Also posted in Birds, coastal, horse, Landscape, Seaside Views, starlings, Wildlife Tagged , , , , , , |


Ok, it’s a long while since I’ve simply themed a page like this, but everything here is red… (even when they don’t look like they are).

The first is a red-eared terrapin. They are feral (discarded domestic animals). The terrapins have survived for a number of years in Falmer Pond as – essentially – they are at the top of the local food chain with no natural predators. There are several, and this one is close to the size of a dinner plate. It’s unlikely that they’ll be able to breed in our climate as the eggs are laid on the ground and need a consistent temperature above 25C for a couple of months.

red-eared terrapin

Red-eared Terrapin basking at Falmer Pond, East Sussex

The next little sequence is another non-native species, but rather less damaging to local wildlife. This one was sharing calls with a mate (who was out of sight). It’s a red-legged partridge.

red-legged partridge

Red-legged partridge crossing the road at at Falmer Village, East Sussex

red-legged partridge

Red-legged partridge basking in the sun

red-legged partridge

Red-legged partridge in the shade of the trees

This one is easy… red sky!


Sunset over Woodingdean

Lastly, the inevitable red fox (to give its proper name). It’s a short sequence of Pretty sharing a markie biscuit with one of the cubs.

vixen and fox cub

Pretty sharing with a cub

vixen and fox cub

Fox cub begging

vixen and fox cub

Whoops.. they’ve dropped it

Camera note: all daytime photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. The EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM was used for the foxes.

Also posted in Birds, fox cub, Foxes, terrapin Tagged , , , , , |

Sunset after Hurricane Ophelia (Brighton)

We din’t get the hurricane, but the effect of Ophelia as it passed to the west of the UK was to bring some stunning weather events as it carried dust and sand from the Iberian Peninsula and the Sahara. Mid-afternoon the skies darkened as the dust blotted out the sun. People stopped work to watch as a dull reddish darkness transformed the sky. Later, the skies cleared and by sunset it was clear. But the colours remained.

These sunset shots are taken overlooking the South Downs from just outside Brighton. The tower on the left is the Whitehawk transmitter. To the right is the i360 tower reaching up over the horizon.

Weather following Hurricane Ophelia turned skies red with dust from the Iberian Peninsula and Sahara desert.

Whitehawk transmitter and i360.

A marmalade sky

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Also posted in Landscape, Weather Tagged , |