Blog

Sunrise over Abbotsbury
14th December 2010 - 0 comments




As I got up expecting to see the predicted mist or fog laying over the fields, I saw clear skies and nothing else. I had a quick drive around the higher ground around Bridport but there was no mist at all to be seen, so I set off towards Abbotsbury to watch the sunrise over Portland, Weymouth and Abbotsbury.

The skies were clear and there was little or no colour in most of the sky, which was all looking a bit disappointing.

As I got to the top of Abbotsbury Hill, looking over St Catherine's Chapel and out towards Weymouth & Portland, there was a bank of a few clouds near the horizon which was beginning to light up as sunrise neared.

I drove down the hill and took off one of the side roads, to position myself directly in line with the chapel and the sunrise, to make sure the colour was directly behind the chapel.

Over the course of the next few minutes the skies glowed and those few clouds looked amazing. I hope you enjoy the capture as much as I did.
Early morning over Bridport
13th December 2010 - 0 comments




Another weather forcast of mist across Bridport got me to rise early and head off towards Quarry Hill today. The mist was light, but still gave the valley some atmosphere wit the hills peeking out from above the mist banks.

Towards the coast and the cliffs of Burton Brastock, Chesil Bank and Portland beyond, the mist seemed to be thicker, more like low lying cloud, with Portland not even visible through the bank. The sun was slowly rising behind the couds giving the halo effect to the top of the cloud bank, while throwing some lovely golden/orange light into the sky.





It was a cold morning and I had to head off before the sun fully rose, but a lovely view from the top.







From Dorset to Cornwall
12th December 2010 - 0 comments




An early start this morning after an early Christmas supper with friends last night. I passed by Wimborne to see the fields covered in a light frost and a slight mist rising from them, so I stopped and took a couple of shots before I set off home.

Sunday was set aside for lunch at 15 in Cornwall, a long standing promise, which was superb by the way.... a lunch of Gurnard accompanied by fennel & alioli, scallops on a skewer of rosemary.

As I was down in Cornwall I went onto Trebarwith Strand, a place I had always wanted to visit. With a sky-full of high level Cirrus clouds it looked like an amazing sunset was on the way, but as we neared the time, the clouds dispersed leaving a much lighter covering, along with a tick bank near the horizon. As a result there was a light covering of colour across the remaining cloud cover.

On the way down to the Strand from the village, we encountered 2 sheep out for an afternoon wander, constantly stopping, turning round to look at over their shoulders, and frowning. I wish I had captured that for the blog!



Cold & frosty morning over Hive Beach
06th December 2010 - 0 comments




It was very cold this morning in Burton Bradstock, reaching about -6 degrees overnight and early morning leaving a thick frost over everything in its path. As the sun rose there was a bank of fog over Bridport and the surrounding area blanking out the sunrise, although it did manage to peep through about 10 minutes later.

The picture shows the view from the top of the cliff, overlooking both Hive Beach and Cogden Beach, down towards Portland.
Grey day over Dorset
03rd December 2010 - 0 comments




As the sun was shining over Bridport and West Dorset this morning, rather too brightly (as I got up late), I headed off to Dorchester and Wimborne to see how it was over that way. As I got to Dorchester, I hit a bank of fog, which stayed all the way to Wimborne, so no pictures of the Minster in the snow/ice/mist.

I headed back and as it now getting towards sunset, I drove up to Hardy's Monument to gain a high vantage point over the valleys towards Dorchester and out towards Portland.

The sky was very grey and Dorchester had disappeared in the fog.



The snow hits Dorset
02nd December 2010 - 1 comment




Over night we got hit by a heavy downfall of snow so I set off for sunrise to take some pictures across the area.

I headed down to Hive Beach as I wanted to capture it covered in snow, but by the time I got there, not only were there many sets of footprints in the sand, but the snow covered rocks were beginning to melt. I walked along the beachfront, trying to avoid leaving footprints behind me, to find a spot not already spoilt by others feet.













After getting stuck in the car park for a short while, I headed off to St Catherines Chapel to see if I could repeat my composition from last week, only this time covered in snow. Unfortunatly the light was very grey and flat and I was not that happy with the result.





I tried briefly to head up over the hills towards Dorchester, but the roads were bad and the snow was drifitng across both carriages, so after taking the view across the Bride Valley, I set off back towards Bridport and Burton Bradstock.





After taking a few shots around Burton Bradstock for a clients website, I headed over to Pilsden Pen to watch the sunset from the top of the hill there. A great spot to watch out across the whole of the Marshwood Vale and to watch the light glow golden as the sun set behind the broken clouds.





A busy day, with many closed or icy roads but it was great to see the Dorset countryside covered in snow for a change.
Press Release : 2011 Calendar
29th November 2010 - 0 comments


News Release 29th November 2010 from Uk
Graham Wiffen Photography: From Fish to Photos – 2011 Calendars


Graham Wiffen, Sales & Marketing Manager of the Hive Beach Café at Burton Bradstock, West Dorset has launched a new career, moving on from taking pictures of food or serving it to shooting the wonderful Dorset land and seascapes. One of his first big projects is a spectacular calendar for 2011 backed by Steve Attrill, owner of the award winning Hive. And with the 2012 Olympic sailing event on the doorstep Graham's planning for a bumper time.

Photography has been a lifelong hobby for Graham. “I’m now at a stage in my working life where I can enjoy being creative. So to have a project that brings together all the aspects that I’m passionate about is very satisfying.” He has travelled extensively, living in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, and feels that the scenery on our Dorset doorstep takes some beating. “Working at the Hive is like having the best photographic studio in the world. The colours and shapes in the surrounding countryside and Jurassic coastline, and the ever changing light, are a constant source of inspiration.” Graham uses a Nikon D90 camera with a variety of lenses including Nikon & Sigma, and using Lee Filters.

The calendars, available in the cafe and online, cost £4.95 and are perfect for Christmas gifts or for the pure joy of the pictures. All of the profits are being donated to the charity Julia’s House which supports Dorset children with life-threatening illnesses and their families by providing respite, fun and nursing care. Community Fund Raiser Di Pestell says, “We’re really pleased that The Hive is helping us once more. The money raised is much needed and appreciated by Julia’s House.”

For pictures, interviews and more information contact
Annette Shaw PR
Telephone: - 01308 456699
E-mail:- annetteshaw08@btinternet.com

Graham Wiffen contact info:
Web site: - www.grahamwiffenphotography.com
E-mail:- graham@grahamwiffen.com
Hive web site: - www.hivebeachcafe.co.uk
Sunset over the Fleet
28th November 2010 - 0 comments




As we headed towards the time of sunset tonight, there was thick cloud over the sky, heading down to the horizon, but for a few minutes, the sun broke below one bank of clouds, shone brightly, before heading below another bank of cloud and setting below the horizon.

As it shone across the Abbotsbury valley, I was driving over Abbotbury Hill and stopped for a few minutes to capture St Catherines Chapel, the Fleet and Weymouth and Portland in the background. A lovely golden light tonight ... thats why they call it the Golden Hour.

The lesson as always, dont believe the weatherman, but get out there, and wait and see.



Snowy hills, Trains & Piers
27th November 2010 - 0 comments




I rose early to get the sunrise across the snow-covered hills and valleys of Dorset, only to find a thick bank of cloud across the eastern sky, giving some very grey light indeed across the landscape.

I decided to stay local and went off to my favourite hill to try and capture the scene, and with wind whistling in my ears (I forgot my hat) and a few inches of snow covering the tops of my boots, I headed off to Quarry Hill.

Being cold and a bit dissapointed, I headed off towards Lyme, to view Golden Cap from Morecombelake, where there is a new farm shoip open, which opens early serving hot coffee and bacon rolls. Just what was needed. From behind the shop, you get a wonderful view across the valley towards the hills and coast.





I decided I would use the rest of the day as a recky to various locations, for future use and after a quick trip to Wimborne, I went down to Corfe and Swanage to try out a couple of shots, which can both be improved upon given different weather conditions.







Stunning sunset
23rd November 2010 - 1 comment




After getting up early this morning to shoot the sunrise, only to be met by clouds across the sky once I arrived a tthe chosen spot, it looked like the sunset was going the same way... clouds right across the sky.

I was in a meeting as sunset got close and I was constantly looking out the windows to see if the sky was changing from its rather dull greay, overcast look, when over the course of just a few minutes, it came alive and started to glow reds, purples and pinks.

I managed to escape for a few brief minutes to capture the scene as best I could, but it was a stunner.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did... and these two!



2011 Calendar launched
22nd November 2010 - 0 comments


I have just released a 2011 calendar, featuring a selection of my landscape and seascape photos, with a bit of a surprise in April .... well there has to be an aaahhh moment in all calendars.

The calendar has been produced in association with the Hive Beach Cafe and can be ordered online through either website. The profits from all sales go to Julia's House Childrens Hospice, who are based here in Dorset and do such a wonderful job looking after terminally ill children.

I hope you enjoy the calendar and help us to raise money for Julia's House.

Misty Morning across Bridport
19th November 2010 - 0 comments


A misty morning across Bridport and the surrounding hills....

I arrived a bit late and the sun was already above the hills and the mist was beginning to disappear, so I only managed to get a few shots before it went completely.

The sun was directly on Colmers Hill which was shining golden in the early morning light.





A wonderful misty morning : Finally!!
16th November 2010 - 0 comments




I have been getting a bit fed-up with the weather over the last few days, with mist and fog forecast, but after getting up early, seeing nothing! Today, that all changed, with a wonderful misty morning across the Marshwood Vale.

I set off (again) early this morning to agreat lookout point across the Marshwood Vale up near Lamberts Castle. mIt was a cold morning with the car covered in ice, the lock frozon solid and the roads a bit icy and slippery, but I was determined to get there and capture the valley.

I arrived well before sunrise and got organised, setting up my gear. The view across the valley was very atmospheric with a thick layer of mist across a lot of the valley, with the trees, pylons, farms and buildings popping out of it sporadically across the valley floor.





I took a few shots before the sun rose above the horizon, which gave a very cold and almost monochrome feeling and with a cloudless sky, there was not too much colour in the sky, even as the sun rose above the clouds on the horizon.

Once up the valley came alive, with side lighting to the centre of the valley, striking shadows across the mist and lighting up the trees. I took a selection of shots across the valley, including one I converted to black and white using SilverEfex pro.









I then broke all the rules and took a few straight into the sun, to capture the outline of Colmers Hill in Bridport against the rising sun, with the 'layers' of hills around it.





I had been wanting to take this valley in the mist for some time, so it was a real treat to see it, experience it and capture it.







Windy evening down the Jetty
11th November 2010 - 0 comments




I went out for sunset tonight as it was looking promising, with clouds across the sky and the wind was blowing gently as I set out from home.

However, as I reached the coast, the wind had really picked up and as I walked down to the jetty it seemed to be blowing harder and harder as I got closer.

I only managed to take a couple of shots as the clouds were disappearing as I watched and due to the strong winds. I setup the camera before walking down to the end of the jetty, which was fun (not) where a few more planks had disappeared since I was there last. I setup the shot and then took a long exposure using the Lee Big Stopper of 1 minute, which allowed the clouds to streak and the water to soften.

Another of my local fav spots, again well photographed by many, but still a place I like to go.
Colmers Hill at dusk
07th November 2010 - 0 comments




On Sunday afternoon, as the sun was setting and the liught beginning to 'glow', I headed off to Stonebarrow to try and capture Golden Cap in the amazing golden light that was shining.

On the way I drove past Colmers Hill, one of my favourite (if over photographed) local spots.

I walked up the hill opposite to capture the scene from Eype Down, to include some of the ferns on the down which were turning golden brown and looked wonderful in the setting sunlight. I tried a couple of different scenes, using some of the late-flowering gorse as foreground interest, but in the end discarded that one in favour of a more traditional composition.





As the sun lowered still further and it looked promising for a grerat sunset, I headed off towards Lyme Regs but as the sun dropped the clouds built up and formed a low barrier across the sky, resulting in a rather dissapointing and grey sunset. I stopped on the front of Lyme to capture a set of steps I had seen a few weeks earlier, that I thought would work well as a black and white iamge.



Chasing the Golden light
06th November 2010 - 0 comments




This weekend saw another visit to the The Avenue of Beech Trees up at Bradbury Rings, near Kingston Lacy, Wimborne. The colours in the canopy of the avenue had turned further, with many leaves having already fallen, but as the sun shone and lowered in the sky, the leaves captured the colours and glowed.

The road was very busy and it took many attempts to get shots clear of cars, lorries and vans. There were also many neavy clouds in the skies, which the sun kept hiding behind, so it was a day of patience.

The avenue was bathed in light, but the branches of the trees captured my attention as theyv were swaying in the breeze, but bending under their own weight and almost touching the grass floor. The patterns formed by the trunks and the branches were wonderful and mixed in with the colours, made a scene worth capturing.





As the branches curved and bent over they formed a 'tunnel' of there own down the avenue.



In search of Autumn colour
30th October 2010 - 0 comments




This weekend it seemed that all the colours changed almost overnight. The greens morphed into into oranges and yellows and the rusts and reds started to develop. It was time to search for autumn colours. I have now replaced the D90 but am still waiting for the Sigma lens to arrive, so these were taken with the normal 18-55 and 55-200 Nikon lenses, occasionally using my Cokin filters

I started locally and with the sun shining I decided to shoot Colmers Hill from the top of Walditch avenue, across the fields, taking in the rooftops of Bridport with their bricks and painted walls to add to the colours.





Following a recent visit to the Wimborne Avenue up near Kingston Lacy where the trees had still been green, I thought it time to revisit. I wasn't disappointed, and neither were the other 20 or so photographers up there that day. The only issue was the clouds, which were stopping the sun from lighting up the avenue in all its glory.





Having never been, I then took off up to Stourhead, arriving with an hour or so to spare before sunset, but again with lots of clouds stopping the vibrant colours of the hillsides really popping, it took a while to wait for the breaks in the clouds for the hillside to come alight.

There were a lot of people wandering around, many photographers out and about, all enjoying the spectacle of the gardens. It was worth the wait and I'll definitely be going again very soon before the autumn colour go.

It has to be one of the most photographed places in the South, but in the autumn, with the evening sun, you can easily see why.

I used a B+W 10-stop filter on the this one, to try and stop the ripples, caused by the ducks and geese, from spoiling the reflections.







Sunset at Golden Cap
24th October 2010 - 0 comments
On the way home I managed to buy an SD card and headed of to Charmouth beach. The sun was setting and lighting up the cliffs of Stonebarrow and Golden Cap, and off in the distance behind them, those of West Bay, Freshwater and Burton Bradstock.

I was using my old Nikon D50 with its 18-55 kit lens, so I was a bit limited, so I chose to use the 10-stop B+W filter to help slow things down and add some movement into the scene.

Unfortunately, as the sun set, the clouds disappeared which was a shame, but the golden light as the sun went down really made the whole shoreline glow.

A few people were milling around and these were turned into ghosts with the 10-30 second exposure times.

This is a shot I have been wanting to do for a while, but I really want to go back with the D90, Lee Filters and do it properly. I missed the Sigma lens here tonight and really wantd to get close into the rocks in the foreground and the water swirling around them.



The Iphone at Beer ....
24th October 2010 - 0 comments
A Sunday afternoon at Beer promised to be a great outing, with wonderful sunshine, a low tide uncovering the rocks and some great company. The only missing was ....... my memory card! Yes, I do have a spare, but I'd used that yesterday and left that one in my pc at home too. Oh well, it was all down to my Iphone for the day then, capturing a few shots to remember the scene by, so I can go back at a later stage.

One bit of fun was I have just downloaed the app. Pro HDR and I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype online.

I often use the Iphone to capture images where i stop, as a quick reference of the place, the layout etc.

This is just for fun and I'm not about to give up on my Nikon, but it seems to work reasonably well, certainly better than the standard camera, but it does struggle with high contrast points, like sky-lines. You do have to hold it very still, as it takes 2 shots and merges them.

Here are a few of the results...







Canford School - cool ...
23rd October 2010 - 0 comments
Its been a busy weekend and I only wish I had my D90 back. I spent the Saturday at Wimborne and got the chance to visit Canford School as it was half-term and then Sunday nipped off to Beer and Charmouth.

Saturday was spent at the Wimborne Food Festival, part of Dorset Food Week and after sampling lots of fab food, cakes and drinks from the various stalls, I was invited to go and visit Canford School by a former students parent. Very nice indeed, with lots of trees, flowers and grounds to go back to at some point. The school and its grounds were covered in the Dorset magazine this month.

As I entered the grounds via the 'back' gate, the river Stour and wier are on the left hand side, and in the afternoon sun, the trees were lit up and glistening their autumn colours. Above, the clouds were wispy and curling around too and as I only had my Nikon 18-55 lens to hand, I took a series of shots, merging them together in Photoshop to cover the whole scene.

Sundays adventures are covered in a later post .... including details of the Apple Iphone app. Pro HDR, but as a teaser, I have included a shot taken at the school.