Sentinels of the Icy Sea
Freezing fog flowing over the sussex downs
hills with freezing fog at sunset
One of my most incredible moments of photography as I experienced a jaw dropping winter scene when a bank of freezing fog was momentarily turned to fire by the setting sun...
A2 – (Printed Area – 544mm x 267mm)
A3 – (Printed Area – 380mm x 186mm)
fire and ice
Towards the end of my time living in Brighton, I lived in the top floor flat of an apartment block that enjoyed stunning 360 degree views of Sussex. I could see up the coast as far as Worthing and across the South Downs to Truleigh Hill and beyond. On a clear day I could see the Isle of Wight more than 40 miles away.
One relatively clear winter's afternoon, I was looking west across the Downs and could see slivers of fog cresting the hills near Devil's Dyke and through the Adur valley. Immediately I grabbed my gear and took the short drive up into the hills where the landscape took on a dramatic transformation!
Brighton lies to the south of The Downs where the hills slope gently and gradually into the sea and so when the air flows down from the north, Brighton can sometimes benefit from adiabatic warming as it sits in a sort of geographical bowl. Today was such a day and Brighton itself was relatively mild and dry for February.
The tops of the South Downs, however, were like Narnia.
The freezing fog had enveloped everything and coated it in a thick rime. Every tree and bush and blade of grass was turned white with ice and frost. All was dead quiet and still and the sun became mute.
After a few hours of wandering through this enchanting winter wonderland, the descending sun had started to dip below a shallow cloud canopy and a glowing smudge of bright pinks and oranges began to fill the mist. Attracted by the orb, I emerged out of a frozen copse of trees and made my way to the hillside. Then, for the first time that afternoon, the fog momentarily cleared and there were audible gasps from those around. As far as the eye could see, rivers of icy fire flowed over the escarpments as the hills ploughed shadows through the fog. I'd never seen anything like it. I knew I didn't have time to compose a shot so I simply ran down the hillside to the nearest ledge, filled the frame and fired away.
- Canon 80D + Tamron 16-300 @ 80mm | f/8 | 1/40sec | ISO100