Spring equinox ’24. Brean Beach again and a teaser: did we get the ‘money shot’?

The highly-praised movie we made last year lacked one crucial image; that of the sun setting into the horizon precisely due west at exactly 6pm*. This – with the dawn due east 12 hours earlier – is the unique and universal property of equinoxes. The entire biosphere experiences it. It’s the USP of EQ and why Brean Beach and Down were chosen as our location: not just for the big tides, perfect sand and beautiful cliff face backdrop for the logo build, but because of orientation. With its N-S beach and E-W promontory facing into the Bristol Channel, Brean is perfectly suited to explain equinoxes.

But in 2023 the weather steadily worsened, and James Levelle and I had to abandon the shoot without that climactic shot. Would the sun play ball in 2024? I’ve been glued to various meteos for days. Monday 18th seemed to give the best chance for the shot. In this sodden spring there was always a risk, but I wasn’t rehearsing or performing; James was busy but would drop everything and come. But then Sunday began to be more promising… I could stay nearby with my old friend David Punter … I called on Saturday evening: “can we go for tomorrow instead, and if there’s a no-show try again on Monday?”

So, like storm-chasers, we went for it 24hrs earlier. I took an early train to Weston-super-Mare and cycled over to recce. On the beach the weather improved steadily all afternoon.

Up on the Down, it was looking ok, so I phoned; “Let’s go for it!”

James and Francesca arrived from Bath at 5.30 and we quickly climbed up the cliff to the favoured location.

James set up two cameras and launched his drone. We were ready, threefold. But, as forecast, clouds were gathering, the sun got milkier, and then started to disappear…

So did we get the money shot then, or the next day? Or not at all?

Check out the next blog: Earth Day – how was it for you?!

The Universal Sunset due West. No image speaks so powerfully. At equinox we are indeed Equal under the Sun.

© Martin Nelson 19th March 2024
*corrected for timezone approximation. Being west of Greenwich, Brean’s true solar-sundial equinoctial 6pm is at 6.25 GMT.


One thought on “Spring equinox ’24. Brean Beach again and a teaser: did we get the ‘money shot’?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.