Dusk… my favourite time of day for shooting pictures

Bournemouth beach. ©Neil Turner, July 2009

Anyone who knows me or who has ever looked at my folio will know just how much I like being by the sea and that the beach is my single favourite location. I’m a lucky guy and I live on the south coast of England – in the same town in which I was born, Unimaginative, I know – but it’s a great place to live and take pictures. Shooting portraits against the background of a mean and moody sky at dusk is one of my favourite things to do and shooting those skies without people is almost as much of a joy.

Going on the beach as the sun goes away is also a great time to capture very saturated colours. The picture to the left of the breakwater (we call them groynes here in Dorset by the way) with the low angle sunshine is a great example of the clarity and beauty of the evening light when the sun actually shines in the UK. I have no other reason to post this picture than to show that every once in a while you get light so pure, so perfect that no amount of lighting can improve upon it.

Bournemouth beach. ©Neil Turner, July 2009

This picture of the sun going down over the cliff tops is another story. I was walking on my own and took an EOS50D along for the fun of it. I didn’t have anyone to photograph and my lights were back in the car anyway so I had to shoot the sky whilst wishing I had someone interesting in front of the camera!

This kind of sky seems to be most common at the end of the summer and into early autumn. I’m looking forward to a few more and, with luck, I’ll get to shoot some portraits with them too.


  1. I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia and often find myself wandering the headlands early in the morning (Dawn is great light here). I too regret at time having vo subject to go with the great light, but then again its a great time to just be…..


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