Stunning shot of sun setting behind Stump

On a clear day ... Gary Pearson's photo of the Stump from Hunstanton.
On a clear day ... Gary Pearson's photo of the Stump from Hunstanton.

A Boston-born photographer has captured this stunning image of the sun setting behind the town’s St Botolph’s Church, as seen from across the Wash.

Gary Pearson, 51, of Gary Pearson Photography, took the picture at Hunstanton promenade on Wednesday – sharing it on social media that evening to widespread acclaim.

How Gary planned the shot ...

How Gary planned the shot ...

It is a photograph, he says, which is only possible to take on a handful of days each year, when the sunset in Hunstanton is in alignment with the Stump.

Gary uses an app called the Photographer’s Ephemeris to plan many of his shots months in advance, with this being one of them.

The app tells him the position of the sun and what it will align with on a map for any time of day and any day of the year for the next year or more.

Of his Stump photo, he said: “I have attempted to capture this scene on a number of previous occasions over the last couple of years, but without success due to poor weather conditions or high levels of heat haze.

“Conditions for my photo here were about as good as they could ever be I believe, though of course being a photographer in search of perfection that doesn’t exist, I will of course be trying to improve on this photograph on the sunset’s next alignment.”

Gary was born in Boston and lived in Wyberton until moving to Norfolk with his wife, Debbie, in 1990.

For the technically minded, he took the photo using a Nikon D850 camera with a Nikon 200-500mm lens and a 1.4x converter.

“Because of the high power of the zoom lens it has the effect of significantly magnifying the image in the same way that a pair of binoculars do,” he said. “The photo has been cropped out from a 46 megapixels photo down to one just over 17 megapixels. This further enhances the magnification, and the Stump therefore appears as it would when looking through a pair of high-powered binoculars.

“Because the tide was halfway in, the curvature of Earth makes the Stump appear to be partly under water.”

The next chance to get the same shot will be on March 28 of next year, Gary says.

“Of course, it goes without saying that this is already on my calendar,” he said.

To see more of Gary’s work, including a higher definition version of the sunset photo visit