Stoic Against The Flame
dramatic fiery sunset over ditchling beacon
fire falls across the south downs
This photo of a dramatic, fiery sunset over Ditchling Beacon is one of the best and most memorable sunsets that I can remember. The colours on this Autumn evening as the virga fell were simply incredible and to me epitomise the very reason why I chase the light...
Very Limited Edition
A2 – (Printed Area – 544mm x 392mm)
A3 – (Printed Area – 380mm x 204mm)
Stretching through the Sussex counties and Hampshire, the South Downs is the UK's newest national park and is iconic for its chalk slopes and the folds carved therein. Of the many heads and buttresses, Ditchling Beacon is one of the most prominent and a popular destination for walkers, hikers, tourists and those who just enjoy a cracking view.
I'd wanted this shot for a while and in the end it was simply a case of being patient. I knew that autumn was the best time for sunsets so it was a case of keeping my eye on satellite and forecast models around this time (to be honest, my eye is always on them but at this time I was extra vigilant as I was planning to move away from the area). After a couple of dry-runs where the sunset didn't fully satisfy, everything came together perfectly one early October evening as virga fell from a layer of stratocumulus. The cloud layer itself would arguably have been enough but the falling virga which made it look as if the sky was on fire was both the icing on the cake and the cherry on top.
Virga sunsets do not come around often.
There is a soft sense of symmetry to this scene as the shape of the fiery clouds overhead mirror that of the slopes below. The beauty of the scene is then given scale by the sight of the stately home at the foot of the Beacon. I really wanted to convey the sense of scale of the landscape so rather than shoot a single image with a 12mm or 24mm lens which would have distorted the spatial relationship between elements, I shot a panorama of 6 separate images with each one in portrait at 35mm.
- Canon R6 + Canon L Series 24 - 105 IS USM @ 35mm | f/7.1 | 1/100sec | ISO100
- Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290
- Fotospeed Natural Soft Textured Birght White 315