Kinver Edge Sunset

Welcome back and thanks for joining me. In this weeks adventure I hike up to the summit of Kinver’s Iron Age Hillfort to photograph the last of the evening light and golden sunset over Kinver Edge.

I can’t believe its been a week since my post Snowdrops in Spring where I shared a selection of close up images from a recent walk in my local park. I really had fun making those images and I am extremely pleased with how they developed Lightroom. They say time flies when you are having fun and photographically speaking I’ve really enjoyed creating images so far this year, so is it really a surprise that we find ourselves in March already? I’ll let you decide..

My favourite time of day to make photographs is during sunrise. I find there Is nothing quite like seeing the first light of the day surrounded by the peace and tranquility of nature. That being said I do also enjoy photographing sunset and chasing the evening light. Although, I do find shooting sunset requires a different mindset. Popular locations can be extremely busy at times and it’s sometimes difficult to find a good composition without the constant trickle of people walking through your scene. I guess that’s one of the many frustrations of landscape photography. In my experience there are a lot more people out and about during the hours of sunset than there are at sunrise. This is especially true in summer months when sunrise can be as early as 5am. I know what your thinking! who would want to be awake at that time of day?

Chasing Light

I spent most of the weekend pottering around at home and hadn’t really thought much about photography. That was until I glanced outside and noticed a break appearing in the cloud. Making a spur of the moment decision I grabbed for my camera bag, pulled on my boots and headed out towards Kinver Edge.

Despite living around a 20 minute drive from Kinver Edge its never really been a location I have considered visiting with my camera. In fact apart from my scouting trip a few weeks ago I can only recall visiting once before and that was for an early morning walk with a friend in the September of 2020.

An image from my walk back in September 2020

Kinver Edge

Kinver Edge spans an area of approximately 600 acres. In comparison that’s around 90 acres larger than the Principality of Monaco. Kinver Edge is mainly a high heath and woodland escarpment with an elevation of 164 meters above sea level at its summit. There are a variety of way marked walks which encompass the several points of interest such as Rock Houses, Nanny’s Rock and Vale’s Rock.

Sunset on Kinver Edge

Kinver Edge is home to two Iron Age Hillforts. The larger of which is located on the northern end of Kinver Edge and only a short walk from the Rock Houses carpark on Compton Road. This is our destination for todays shoot and a remarkable place to practice landscape photography.

One thing to note is that the walk from the Rock Houses parking area is quite steep in places and there are a number of steps leading up to Kinver’s Hillfort. If you have limited mobility consider parking on an alternative carpark and taking a route that you may find easier to navigate.

Challenges of Sunset Photography

One thing you never know as a landscape photographer is how busy a location is going to be until you get there. I arrived at the Kinver Hillfort to find a number of people present on top of the hill. There is a small gathering surrounding the toposcope, another group of people close to the edge watching the setting sun and a small family with their four legged friend sitting on a picnic blanket. There is also what appears to be a steady flow of hikers and dog walkers passing through the immediate area.

I like to consider myself as chilled and relaxed when making photographs however I must admit on this occasion I could feel anxiety and panic beginning to set in as I feared not finding a suitable composition before the best of the light had passed. With the sun being so close to the horizon I knew I didn’t have much time and quickly framed up my first shot of the setting sun.

Kinver Edge Sunset
Kinver Edge rises to 164 metres above sea level at the summit, and provides views to the Clent Hills, Shatterford Hill, Dudley, Wenlock Edge, Malvern Hills and the Shropshire Hills.

I am pleased with my opening move. I especially like the how the light glows and interacts with the ground in front of the tree and how the edge of the adjacent path leads your eye onto the brightness of the setting sun.

Kinver Edge Toposcope

The gathering of people previously mentioned had now moved meaning I am able to compose an image featuring the Kinver Edge toposcope. I would have liked to have used a tripod and my ND garduated filter to balance the exposure however I just didn’t have enough time. It wouldn’t be long before either the sun disappeared below the horizon or more people arrived to view the toposcope and surrounding area.

The toposcope is a promonant feature on the north end of the Kinver Edge Hillfort

Golden Sky

As I lowered the camera from my eye the sky appeared to fill with a softer shade of gold. Moving quickly I took a few paces to the edge of the Hillfort. I didn’t really have a choice at this point other than the silhouette the immediate foreground and expose for the brightest area of the sky.

A very short window of opportunity as the sun dips over the horizon

With the sun now tucked up below the horizon all that remains in the sky is a burnt orange afterglow.

Final Thoughts

Photographing the setting sun is by no means easy. You really do have to be prepared to react to the diminishing light and work very quickly. Looking at the timestamp on this set of images I found there to be only six minutes between releasing the shutter on the first and final images.

Kinver Edge is a great location for a day out and affords wonderful views to the Clent Hills, Malvern Hills, Wedlock Edge, Shropshire Hills as well as the surrounding local towns and villages. It’s also a perfect playground for anyone interested in landscape or woodland photography.

I hope you have enjoyed viewing my photographs and reading about my adventure to photograph this vibrant Kinver Edge Sunset. I hope you consider subscribing below and I look forward to welcoming you back again soon for my next adventure.

Until next time bye for now.

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