Nick Davies combines his love of coastal photography with family trips
I visit Dunraven Bay at Southerndown on the South Wales Heritage Coast regularly throughout the year. It’s the ideal family-friendly seaside location, with large expanses of sandy beach when the tide goes out, picturesque walks when the tide is in, and an ice cream shop.
I’m well aware of how the light in the ‘golden hour’ early in the morning can transform ordinary scenes into magical vistas. However, with a young family and a partner who doesn’t share my enthusiasm for spending hours setting up coastal shots, I’m not able to visit the bay that early. When we visit the seaside it’s always a balancing act between taking photos and spending fun time with the family, and it’s been a challenge for me to capture interesting shots when the sun is high in the sky.
I’ve had to learn to be creative with my photography, depending on what the weather and the tides have in store for me when I’m able to visit. I’ll use a neutral density filter for long exposures to capture movement in water, as in Southerndown Rocks and Waves , or even an infrared filter for a different view of the coastline.
I’ve recently started to include more people in my pictures. The Oncoming Storm  shows my son on top of a large rock, looking out to sea as a storm develops. I had to move quickly to get this shot, as he was running around on the beach playing with sticks like a little Robinson Crusoe. I managed to convince him to stand on the rock as the storm closed in, to give a sense of scale to the various elements.
I can’t think of a better place to be than at the beach relaxing with the family – while also taking the occasional sneaky snap of the surroundings!
01 The Oncoming Sto rm Nikon D7100, Nikon AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX, 1/160 sec, f/9, ISO100
02 02 South erndown Rocks & Waves Nikon D7100, Nikon AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX, 30 secs, f/22, ISO100