Coast Path Captured in the Best Light

A spectacular image of the cliffs at Burton Bradstock in Dorset taken by a keen local photographer has beaten hundreds of entrants to scoop the South West Coast Path’s annual photographic competition. 

The photograph shows the coastal landscape at twilight and was taken by Ian Alcock, who describes how he captured the stunning image saying;

“This was taken nearly 15 minutes after the sun had set below the horizon and the remaining clouds reflect the pink tones left from the suns afterglow.

On taking the winning shot in 2015, he said:

“It’s fantastic news. I’ve entered the competition the past two years and made it in the calendar both times so it’s very exciting to have won. I am passionate about the Dorset coast and I grew up in Weymouth, so I know Portland and the area quite well.

“I’ve been into photography since I was 17 and it’s what got me into my trade in the printing industry but I would like to focus on it more in future – it’s something I’m working towards.”

The winning picture was chosen by professional photographer and former Wildlife photographer of the Year, David Noton, who helped judge the competition. He says of the photograph:

“There’s a beautiful richness to the tones in this image, from the shadows in the cliffs to the brightest part of the twilight sky. Like all the best images it’s a simple composition with nothing in the frame that doesn’t deserve to be there. The exposure is perfect; just slow enough to suggest movement in the breaking wave while retaining the texture and form of the water surface. The way the streaks of the waves on the wet sand has been captured is particularly appealing, as is the sliver of moon in the sky. The texture of the layers of rock in the cliffs is also highly evocative; they take the viewer’s eye into the picture towards Golden Cap in the distance.”

Ian’s prize package includes a luxury two-night stay at the Thurlestone Hotel in South Devon where the surrounding coastline provides endless opportunities to capture stunning coastal scenery on camera. It includes a ‘walker’s special’ – mini foot treatment and glass of bubbly.  

Ian says:

“My wife and I love Devon so we’re very much looking forward to taking up our prize and I’ll be out on the Coast Path taking pictures of the coastline, that’s for sure.”

He also receives £100 worth of camera equipment from the David Noton website, which Ian says;

“It’s so nice to have received the recognition from David Noton too - he’s been my main inspiration as a local photographer and I’ve been to a couple of his talks.”

The winning image will feature alongside 11 other pictures in the official South West Coast Path calendar for 2017 published by Salmon. To view the winning images, take a look at the album for the 2017 Calendar in the Flickr gallery.

The judges had a difficult job coming up with the shortlist, all of which can be seen on the South West Coast Path Flickr gallery.

The South West Coast Path team’s choice was an image of Cape Cornwall taken by Tim Jepson who wins a luxury one night stay at The Mullion Cove Hotel for two people on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

The first and second prize winners will also receive the collection of runner-up prizes, which includes membership of the South West Coast Path Association and a Ciccerone guide book.

In addition, four county winners were chosen by the editors of Devon Life, Cornwall Life, Somerset Life and Dorset magazine who all receive a year’s subscription to the respective publication.

The 2017 South West Coast Path calendar will go on sale this summer and will be available from the South West Coast Path Association’s website and other regional retail outlets. At least 25p from each calendar goes towards Coast Path improvements.

David Noton has a Photography Workshop running next Autumn on Exmoor (29 October - 1 November 2016) for those who may like to think ahead to this year’s competition which will close on 1st December 2016. Prizes for the 2016 competition have yet to be announced.

For top tips for taking photographs on the Coast Path go to

For more information about the South West Coast Path Association visit

Published on: Feb. 8, 2016