Last Week’s Shoot – Rock and Spindle

On my recent St Andrews shoot the most promising forecast for a decent sunrise shoot was (unfortunately) on the Sunday morning, so I was up at 5am to brave the hour’s walk along the Fife Coastal Path to the Rock and Spindle, which I’d seen during the day and at dusk before and thought it would make a great sunrise subject, with the sun coming up out over the North Sea.

Twilight Glow on the Rock and Spindle on the Fife Coast path near St Andrews Fife Scotland

I took a torch with me, but the moonlight was enough to see along the coast path once the lights of St Andrews had faded into the distance and I arrived a good three quarters of an hour before sunrise.  In the gloomy twilight the rock had a nice warm glow to it from the soft pink light out over the sea, so I took a few shots straight away and then waited for the sun to rise.

Rock and Spindle at Sunrise on the Fife Coast path near St Andrews Fife Scotland

As the first rays of the rising sun hit the top of the spindle I could tell it was going to look rather good in the early light so set about making numerous exposures with different compositions and orientations.

Rock and Spindle at Sunrise on the Fife Coast path near St Andrews Fife Scotland

After a few minutes the light started to catch the foreground rocks too producing my favourite image from the shoot (featured image, top).  Once I’d got that shot, I moved onto rocks exposed by the slowly receding tide to get some reflections of the spindle in the water.

Calm North Sea from East Sands at St Andrews Fife Scotland

About half an hour or so after sunrise the light was starting to get a bit harsh so I started to make my way back along the coast path – somewhat easier going in the pleasant morning sunshine!  Back in St Andrews, the receding tide had left some nice patterns at the East Sands – yet to be trampled on by the early morning walkers.

Sunny Morning Reflections at St Andrews Harbour St Andrews Fife Scotland

At the harbour, reflections of colourful buildings and boats in the water also caught my eye so I took a few more shots before returning to the flat for a well-earned Sunday morning breakfast!

I stayed at the comfortable 3c Gillespie Terrace on The Scores during my visit – highly recommended.

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see

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