Last Week’s Shoot – St Monans

Rocks and Light on the Sea at St Monans

As part of my recent trip to St Andrews I took a bus down to St Monans, one of the lovely East Neuk of Fife fishing villages, for the day, with a view to exploring some of the Fife Coastal Path from the village and the shooting sunset over the zig-zag shaped breakwater from the harbour.

Stormy Weather over the Firth of Forth at St Monans, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland
Stormy Weather over the Firth of Forth at St Monans, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland

On arrival it became apparent that the planned sunset shoot would be off unless the wind dropped, as it was blowing a gale which was whipping in off the Firth of Forth behind the incoming tide.  Some jagged rocks near the harbour provided an interesting alternative subject so I made this location a backup plan for sunset.

The Auld Kirk and Kirkyard on the Fife Coast at St Monans
The Auld Kirk and Kirkyard on the Fife Coast at St Monans

The walk along the Fife Coast Path proved quite interesting – the wind was so strong I could barely stand up some of the time so it was slow progress, but the Auld Kirk at the start of the path out of the village toward Elie looked lovely in the sunlight which came and went through the fast moving clouds.

St Monans Windmill and Salt Pans
St Monans Windmill and Salt Pans

I explored further along the path and had a good look at the ruin of Newark Castle which (despite warnings of falling masonry) provided shelter from a brief but heavy shower.  After turning back in the strong winds I had a quick walk out to the windmill on the other side of the village at the remains of the old salt pans on the coast.

Rocks and Light on the Sea at St Monans
Rocks and Light on the Sea at St Monans

As the sun was setting I returned to the village – the tide was in with waves crashing over the sea wall and the wind had picked up if anything, so photographing the breakwater from the harbour was definitely out!  I returned to the jagged rocks and took a few shots but it was difficult to keep the longer exposures in focus in the mighty gale.  My favourite shot was a detail of a small area of rocks with the setting sun reflecting off the waves.  Finally, the rain set in and it was time to head back to the busstop – but I’ll be back for another look at the breakwater in the future!

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a landscape and travel photographer based in Yorkshire, England. He supplies licensed images through marksunderland.com - The Source for Images of Yorkshire - and also runs photography workshops in the Yorkshire Dales with Natural Light Workshops.

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