Low Light Photography Bespoke Course

Photography at the end of the day: late afternoon light, sunset, dusk and the night sky

Evening light and dark sky photography

For this low light photography course, would you like to:

  • Photograph the shore and harbour in the mouth of the River Exe in the final hour of daylight, and then through sunset and dusk?
  • Discover just how amazingly different the same view can become as the light changes through the evening?
  • Create remarkably different types of images within a small area in the mouth of the River Exe, from beach and estuary views, to harbour scenes and modern architecture all through the sunlit, sunset and dusk period?
  • Photograph the night sky (conditions permitting) to produce star patterns and trails?

If so, then this course is for you.

Note that this course is usually run as a half-day event only.

What the locations and photography consist of

This course takes place largely around the harbour and estuary shoreline at Exmouth, just inside the mouth of the River Exe, in east Devon. The location provides quite a selection of photography types, from waterside landscapes, to harbour scenes, to modern architecture, all of which can be photographed during the afternoon sun, at sunset and during dusk.

This photography is best done at low tide, a time that gives the widest choice of shoreline views to photograph.

Light pollution in and around Exmouth makes for difficult night sky photography, so for this final period we move to the nearby town of Budleigh Salterton, and in particular to the beach and mouth of the River Otter. Here, the skies can be very dark, making the stars clearly visible. Not surprisingly, this is best done at times when there is a clear sky but no moon.

What you will learn about

  • How to make the most of the late afternoon, sunset and dusk light to create atmospheric landscape and architectural images;
  • Use of a tripod to make it possible to shoot long exposures in low light situations;
  • Long exposure times to capture star trails and stars as pinpoints of light;
  • Use of elements in harbour, beach and rural scenes to create great compositions;
  • Appropriate use of the combination of shutter speed and lens aperture, as well as correct focussing to make the most of compositional elements in the scene;
  • How to make the best use of the camera’s most important functions.

Full-day or half-day

This Low Light Photography course is offered only as a half-day course, but there is no reason why it could not be combined with a half-day of photography elsewhere to make it a full-day’s worth of photography.


Half-day (up to four hours): £280 for 1-4 people, and an additional £70 for each additional person;

Full-day (seven hours): £380 for 1-4 people, and an additional £100 for each additional person.

  • Exmouth harbour at dusk: Low light photography course
  • Sunset over the River Exe, Devon; Low light photography course
  • Harbourside apartments, Exmouth, Devon: Low light photography course
  • Harbour side apartments at dusk; Exmouth, Devon: Low light photography course
  • Apartment balustrade in evening sunlight; Exmouth, Devon
  • Star trails over the estuary of the River Otter, Devon.
  • Night sky over Budleigh Salterton, Devon

What you will need

The camera equipment you’ll need to bring is simply what is useful for general photography. If you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera with several lenses then a focal length range of about 17-300mm will be fine. If you have just the one zoom lens, or a compact camera, these are fine too – you’ll still be able to take great photos without having to worry about changing lens!

Please bring a tripod – it will be needed for sunset, dusk and night time photography, and for blurred-motion photography of any waves. If you don’t have one please let me know as I may be able to lend you one.

Please make sure your camera battery/ies is/are fully charged, and that there is lots of space on your memory card(s).

Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. We’ll be walking mostly on pavements and tarmac, but also on pebbly beaches, so be sure to wear shoes that you’ll be comfortable walking and standing in for long periods.

Also, bring plenty of weather-proofing for both yourself and your camera gear. Unfortunately, it is quite possible that we will have some rain.


Plenty of pay-and-display parking is available along the Exmouth seafront, a short walk from our meeting point close to the harbour. There is also a large car park at the Otter River end (the eastern end) of Budleigh Salterton’s beach.

There are toilets on the Exmouth seafront but all quite some distance from our photography area around the harbour. In Budleigh Salterton there are no toilets in the car park we’ll be using; the nearest are a few hundred metres along the seafront.

Around Exmouth harbour, there are only a few places to buy food and drink, so you’re advised to bring your own.

A weather note

The entire length of this trip will be spent outdoors, so please be prepared for rain showers. That said, in Exmouth there are cafes and pubs where we can take shelter if necessary.

Some flexibility regarding the scheduling may be needed. If in the final few days before the event we have a severe weather forecast for the planned day then it may be necessary to reschedule the event, hopefully for just one or perhaps two days later. Please try to include this flexibility when making your travel plans.

The course location

This course will start beside the harbour in Exmouth, in the estuary of the River Exe, east Devon. To reach Exmouth, follow the A376 from Exeter, and then once in the town follow signs to the seafront/esplanade, where you’ll be able to park.

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