There is a crack in everything...

Photo Information
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in. "

Leonard Cohen

Paignton Pier at dawn, with the early sunlight finding some gaps on the horizon and gently bathing the buildings on the pier.

Paignton Pier is a pleasure pier in the large English seaside resort Paignton, Devon. It was financed by Arthur Hyde Dendy, a local Paignton barrister and designed by George Soudon Bridgman.

The 780 feet (240 m) pier, with its customary grand pavilion at the seaward end, was opened to the public for the first time in June 1879. The pier-head pavilion was home to many forms of entertainment including singing, dancing, recitals, music hall, and most famously Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera, re-titled HMS Pinafore on the water, performed by Mr D'Oyley's full company on 27 and 28 July 1880. In 1881 the pier-head was enlarged to facilitate the construction of a Billiard room, adjoining the pavilion.

On the death of Arthur Dendy Paignton Pier was purchased by the Devon Dock, Pier and Steamship Company, under whose ownership it became a regular stop for paddle steamers travelling between Torquay and Brixham.

In 1919 the pier-head and its associated buildings were destroyed in a fire. These were never replaced and a period of decline followed. Sectioned as a defence measure in 1940, for fear of German invasion, the damaged neck was eventually repaired once hostilities had ceased.

In 1980 the fortunes of Paignton Pier took a turn for the better when a major redevelopment project was undertaken. This included the widening of the shoreward end to ensure a uniform neck, and the construction of the rather stylish pavilions that remain today. Paignton Pier comprises an entrance building at the shoreward end along with what looks to be several individual pavilion buildings connected along the neck. These in fact form one single amusement arcade through their entire length. At the pier-head there is now an open amusement area containing karts, slides and carousel.

Pentax K-X
Pentax 18-55mm SMC/ DAL lens (at 18mm)

Cromatek circular polarizer (equivalent to 2 stop ND filter)
Cromatek 0.6 ND graduated filter
Cromatek warming 81b filter

Kodak tripod

cable release

manual focus

manual exposure settings:

4 seconds
ISO 100
17/09/2011 - 23:42morpheus71
CategoryLandscape / Travel
Shutter Speed4 sec
Focal Length18mm


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 00:19
Phil, you've excelled yourself this time, both with the picture and the explanation you have given!! A true work of art in every sense. Beautiful, stunning, artistic and every other word I can think of.

Very, very well done.


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Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 00:42
Thank you ever so much for your generous and encouraging comments David!

My 2 yr old son was damned if he was going to sleep past 5am so as I knew he would fall asleep on a car journey I headed off to try my luck at a dawn shot of the pier - been meaning to do it for a long time, yet my bed always seemed to win

It always seems somewhat surreal the ambience of dawn, yet beautiful and invigorating with it.

The little dude said "wow!" when he saw the sun come up... after having gained another hour of sleep more than his dad
Last Edited by morpheus71 on 18/09/2011 - 00:50


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 07:50
What a well crafted picture, compositionally spot on and lovely silky smooth sea and the dawn light captured so well.

I thought this was one of your HDR shots until I saw that you used filters to achieve the effect, excellent and Leonard Cohen lyrics thrown in for free as well
Great simplicity is only won by an intense moment or by years of intelligent effort. T.S Eliot

Gear Not enough!!

My not so new website


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 08:37
davidstorm wrote:
Phil, you've excelled yourself this time, both with the picture and the explanation you have given!! A true work of art in every sense. Beautiful, stunning, artistic and every other word I can think of.

Very, very well done.


You're RIGHT!!!!


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 09:24
Well composed. Nice shot
my web site
PPG link


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 11:32
Nice shot, Phil. I like its special lights and the pink tones of the sky and the sea.
My website
My PPG site


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 12:19
Being rewarded with a result such as this might even get me out of bed at 0500, er, I think!

Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried! (Bill Brandt)


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 14:55
Wonderful photo Phil, great perspective, lovely sky and suble tones plus all the added information that you give,that makes your photos so special. Cheers Trixie


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 15:14
Great shot, and history lesson . I also thought this was an HDR shot before I read your description. . Well done indeed.
Cheers - JD

"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
-Ansel Adams


Link Posted 18/09/2011 - 23:21
Oh how wonderful, it was well worth your son keeping you awake and this picture will always bring back memories for you, thank you for sharing the picture and the info too.
Kind regards Maria
Last Edited by autumnlight on 18/09/2011 - 23:21


Link Posted 22/09/2011 - 23:41
Thanks so much for the encouraging comments

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