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Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over West Bay
24th May 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over West Bay



As the sun was setting this evening over West Dorset, the clouds began to break up and the sun started to shine through. It looked promising, so I headed over to West Bay to try and catch a panorama of West Bay with the sun setting behind the cliffs of Golden Cap and Thorncombe Beacon.

As I got there and climbed up the very steep East Cliff ... made worse by carrying all my equipment up with me ... the clouds to the West started to disappear. After a few shots I decided to head back down to the harbour, as the clouds over to the East were still there and beginning to light up with the last glows of the setting sun.

By the time I had got over to the harbour and setup, the light was starting to go, and just had time to catch one decent shot, with the dusky pinks and blues reflected across the still waters of the harbour.
Dorset Photography : Abbotsbury Swannery
16th May 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Photography
Abbotsbury Swannery





The first trip this year down to the Swannery in Abbotsbury as the Cygnets have started hatching. About 6 nesting birds have hatched their young so far with a lot more about to pop their heads out of their egg-shells.

The group down at Abbotsbury tourism seem to think the locals and visitors are un-educated as all their signs in the local area state "Baby Swans". They obviously think we don't know what a Cygnet is!

It was a chance to play with the newly acquired 2x converter, which inconjunction with my 300mm Sigma zoom lens allowed me to get up close and personal with the Cygnets from a safe distance from Mum & Dad. For the techies out there, my Nikon D90 uses a crop sensor, so the effective focal length is 300 x 2 x 1.5 = 900mm, which in real terms meant I was about 10-12ft away and still filled the frame with these little cute, furry, cygnets.

Anyway, time for a few cute shots.

Its a great afternoon out and the group down there do a wonderful job of looking after the nesting birds, so if you get the chance, get down there and see them for yourselves.











Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over Portland
15th May 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over Portland Bill & Pulpit Rock





A windy end to a lovely day as I drove down to Portland Bill late afternoon to see what was happening with the light, clouds etc. I was entertainng a friend showing them around my part of West Dorset and as a keen fellow photographer, they were interested to see the Bill and the rocks.

We decided it was worth the weait until sunset, so after a good walk round we went back down to Portland and had dinner in the Cove ... well worth a visit, both for the food and the great views of the rugged cliffs across the end of Portland and up Chesil Bank in the other direction.

Back to the Bill for sunset and the winds were picking up. With a falling tide I was hoping to get down onto the ledges infront of Pulpit Rock to get a lower perspective, but with the waves crashing in, I had to save that for another day.

One of the great things about the Bill is that after clambering over a few rocks, you get another great view to choose and shoot. The lighthouse and stone were looking great against the glowing sky and with the near-full moon shinging brightly, it was a wonderful view.






The light was wonderful and as I setup a few shots my friend perched on the rocks and enjoyed the beautiful sunset. A great end to a fun day in West Dorset.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over Tulk's Hill
14th May 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over Tulk's Hill





After missing out on an amazing sunset last night due to a cocktail evening with friends, the clouds were looking promising over Bridport tonight, so I headed off to a number of higher hilltop locations to see what the view was offering.

I ended up at Abbotsbury Castle but then headed across the road to Tulk's Hill, a little known NT site on the Coast Rd inbetween Burton Bradstock & Abbotsbury.

I arrived just a few minutes late to capture the sunlight lighting up the island of Portland as the sun set below a bank of cloud across the horizon, but the clouds across the bay and over West Dorset begin to glow as the sun sets deeper.

The view from the top along the Jurassic Coast towards Burton, Golden Cap & Lyme Regis was wonderful tonight. A clear night at last, after the hazy evenings of late.



Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over West Bay
12th May 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over West Bay





A wonderful evening as the sun set tonight. A beautiful blue sky over Dorset, with a few white fluffy clouds left in the sky as the temperature drops.

I headed off to West Bay about an hour before sunset, to catch the last of the side light on the cliffs, before the sun moved round further North and the cliff face goes into shadow.

Blue skies, an almost empty beach, a few fluffy clouds and the golden light of sunset .... what an evening !!



Dorset Landscape Photography : Minterne House & Gardens
08th May 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Minterne House Gardens



With the advent of Spring, the flowers at Minterne are in full swing, with the Rhododendrons and Azaleas in particular looking great.

The Minterne Valley was landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown in the 18th Century. The gardens are laid out in a horseshoe below Minterne House, with a chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams. They contain an unique collection of Himalayan Rhododendrons and Azaleas, with Spring bulbs, Cherries, Maples and many fine and rare trees.

The gardens were awash with colour and it was a bright Sunday afternoon with a wonderful blue sky full of white fluffy clouds.... a really lovely spring day.
The gardens are not only full of glorious colours and wonderful plants and trees, but there is also a wide range of textures, contours and other details to watch out for.

There are many more pictures than normal in this post, so I hope you enjoy the shots and maybe go along and visit yourselves.
http://www.minterne.co.uk/mjs/

The Hankerchief Tree:







Some great patterns & textures:









Dorset Landscape Photography : Secret Bluebell Woods
05th May 2011 - 1 comment
Dorset Landscape Photography
Secret Bluebell Woods





After visitng so many bluebell woods this year and seeing many of them trampled down by visitors (many of whom Im sure were fellow photographers), it was a real pleasure to find a 'private wood' where the bells are growing tall and strong, the woodland floor is clean from debris from coppice'ing and the light diffused by the canopy above... what a lovely combination.

I visited at sunrise, but the sun was diffused by not only the clouds in the sky, but by the canopy of the woodland too, which had filled in strongly, so I had some lovely diffused lighting to help out too.

The carpet of flowers stretched off into the distance across the woodland floor and although they were not the thickest carpet Ive seen this year, the fact that this wood was unspoilt by human visitors more than made up for it. I was very privaledged to see this.

Patches of wild garlic broke up the blue carpet is a number of places and animal tracks made little pathways across the forest floor too, all adding something to the ambience of this magical woodland.







Wiltshire Landscape Photography : West Woods, Marlborough
03rd May 2011 - 0 comments
Wiltshire Landscape Photography
West Woods, Marlborough





I went off to Marlborough this week to see the much acclaimed West Woods, said to be the best bluebell woods in the UK, certainly in the South. Having wandered around all day, I have to agree.

There may be a lot of debris left on the forest floor from Forestry Commission coppice'ing, but the bluebells are amazing, very extensive and a wonderful shade of blue.

I spent the day with Ross Hoddinott, Mark Bauer and a few other photographers and together we explored the woods; it was a fun day so thanks to Mark & Ross.

I hope you enjoy the pictures from the day.

One of the first areas I visited, I named 'The Cathedral'. After all of the Royal Wedding news of late, the avenue of tall beech trees formed a nave with a blue carpet, rather than a red one, and the canopy forms a wonderful arched-roof similar to that in a cathedral, hence the nickname. All we needed was a bridge & groom ... Will & Kate where are you?





The lighting across the wood was very dappled. The canopy had filled in earlier this year, causing areas to be highlighted, like this fern, growing up amongst the bells.





As the sun set lower in the sky, there were a few areas where it could break through the canopy and get some sunbeams going on across the bells, but even here they were subdued due to the thickness of the trees and woods.





And for fun .... another abstract image from the day. The light was hitting the trunks of the trees, lighting them up, which lent itself to a more abstract style of picture.







Dorset Landscape Photography : Hooke Bluebell Woods
03rd May 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Bluebell Woods : Hooke Woods





What a difference a day makes! Or three in this case.

A downpour of rain and a very bright morning makes the bluebells over at Hooke look completely different to the other day. The rain has flattenend the bells today making them look thin on the ground and rather flat .... and the high contrast light made it difficult to capture the scene and I used blended of exposures to capture this one.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Piddle Valley Rape
30th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Piddle Valley Rape





After a day spent in amongst the bluebells of both Hooke and Batcombe, it was good to get out of the woods, back into the sunshine and up on the downs.

As I drove back towards Dorchester across the tops, looking down across the Piddle Valley, a storm has just passed over, leaving a whole area of clouds across the skies, some still looking rather stormy and some not.

Across the valley there is a lot of rape this year, with yellow fields heading off into the distance, and the contrast of the clouds, blue skies, yellow rape and a lone green tree stood out as I drove past.

Not my usual style of photograph, but it was such an image as went by, it had to be captured.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Hooke Bluebell Woods
30th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Bluebell Woods





An early morning visit to the woods just north of Bridport this morning, with a group from our local camera club, to capture the morning light on the bells.

Although the morning was relatively clear, the level of canopy that has filled in over the past few days means that there is little 'streaming' light coming through into the woods. However, there were some lovely highlghts and patchy'ness across the bells which made for a great trip.

Its wonderful to go and visit these woods at this time of year. Everyone has their own favourites, but its simply wonderful to be amongst the woods, with the carpet of bluebells stretching off into the distance along with the fragrance of the bells. It truly fills your senses.









And finally, just a bit of some and something a little different ...



Hampshire Landscape Photography : Bluebell Woods
28th April 2011 - 1 comment
Dorset Landscape Photography :
Bluebell Woods





There are many Bluebell Woods across Dorset, and amongst them, some really lovely ones. But none really come up to the standards of those in Hampshire or Wiltshire, (only in my humble opinion of course) ... in particular Micheldever in Hampshire, just outside of Winchester and those in West Woods, Marlborough.

This morning I set off for sunrise in those at Micheldever, which was a very early start from down here in West Dorset. It was clear skies all the way up to Winchester, which was looking very promising, when it suddenly clouded over and stayed that way until well after sunrise.

Not only that, but the section of wood I wanted to use as the sunrise setting had been trampled by the many many other photographers who had visited over the previous days and weeks. It does annoy me when you see other visitors not using the well laid out paths and simply trampling over the wild flowers, which then die and do not recover.... rant over.

The result was that the 'usual' sun shot, with shadows streaming through the trees across the bells didn't happen until the light was way too harsh, so instead I went wandering around the wood to some of the other sections which are not so widely known.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Langdon Bluebell Woods
25th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Langdon Bluebell Woods





I joined a few fellow photographers this evening for a quick walk through one of the Dorset Blubell woods we have locally here to Bridport, Langdon Woods near Golden Cap.

It was a time for some fun and a few different photographs ..... not just the usual stuff. I hope you enjoy them.











Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset across the Marshwood Vale
20th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset across the Marshwood Vale





A hazy evening finished with a lovely sunset across Bridport and the Marshwood Vale lighting up the skies.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset across the Marshwood Vale
19th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset across Bridport and the Marshwood Vale





A really hazy couple of days down here in Dorset. It seems as though West Dorset in particular is covered in this hazy, mist all the time, day and night, and its been hanging around for quite a while.

Tonight I tried to get above it and took to the hills to the East of Bridport and shot the sunset across the Marshwood Vale and the quarry hills of Bridport.

Spring has arrived and the Rapeseed fields are out in bloom and the lambs are jumping around all over the files. Its great!
Dorset Landscape Photography : Purbeck Pt II : Sunrise over Corfe Castle
17th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
A weekend in the Purbecks : Pt II
Sunrise over Corfe Castle





Sunday morning started early ..... very early, with the alarm going off at 4am to make sure I could be in position up West Hill by 5.45, a good half hour before sunrise.

The mists were already in place and for a while it looked really good, with the mists starting to build, the castle was looking very eerie in the mists with the glow of sunrise behind.





As the sun rose, the mists started to build, thicken and flow across the valley and hillside, and the castle disappeared all together for a while, and the entire valley was a white-out. So much so, that after an hour of waiting to see the outline of the castle again, without success, I decided it was time to move on and get back to bed.

With the change in viewpoint and being back on ground level, it seemed that the mists were clearing, so I moved to a different viewpoint, much further away, to see what the Castle looked like from afar.





Still shrouded in mists, the Castle was standing proud, but there was little detail around it on the valley floor, so I waited around a while and tried a couple of different viewpoints while the mists started to thin and burn off under the morning sun.





It was worth the early start!
Dorset Landscape Photography : Purbeck Pt I : Swanage, Worbarrow & Kimmeridge
16th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography : Purbeck Pt I :
Swanage, Worbarrow & Kimmeridge



A weekend spent with a group of like minded photographers under the guidance of Ross Hoddinott & Mark Bauer from Dawn2Dusk Photography ..... you can always learn more.

We spent the weekend in the Purbecks, starting in Swanage, where we had a look round the piers, old and new. The weather was changeable with broken cloud over Swanage piers, which looked great for sunset later in the day, but during the afternoon thickened up, with some interesting textures across it, and then into the evening it started to break up and dissapear. Hope you enjoy the pictures ....

The new pier in Swanage is a great place to practice your compositions ....



Worbarrow Bay is just down from Tyneham Village and this area is closed during the week normally as its part of the firing range for the MOD. However, at weekend and holidays its open to visitors ..... walkers, families and the odd yacht too.



At the Eastern end of the bay is a group of large rocks, fallen from the cliffs above, which make for some great wave patterns.



And halfway round were some very interesting and colourful rocks, also fallen from the cliffs.





And lastly, we headed off to Kimmeridge Bay for sunset. The clouds were breaking as we arrived, but as it was almost high tide, much of the ledges and rocky ledges were covered over, so I headed over to one of my favourite place, Cavell's Pier.

Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over West Bay
11th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over West Bay





It ended up as a clear sky down towards the setting sun tonight, so I turned around and watched at the clouds across the opposite side of the sky lit up as the sun sank below the horizon. A lovely cloud formation and a great dusky pink to end the day.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Low tide at Seatown
07th April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Low tide at Seatown





It was a glorious day down at Seatown on Thursday, with the temperatures up in the late teens ...... wonderful for this time of year in the UK, and a real change from the cold and hazy days of late.

The low tide along Seatown beach, under the cliffs of Golden Cap, uncovers an array of rocks and boulders all the way along the beach, but especially at the Eastern end of the beach.

It was late afternoon, but the sun was still high in the sky and the light was direct and harsh, making things a little challenging, but as we are not getting a suitable low tide sunrise here for months, if not longer, it had to do for now.

Using different ND filters, I took a series of shots at varying exposure times to create a variety of effects on the moving water.







Dorset Landscape Photography : West Bay sunsets
02nd April 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
West Bay sunsets

It was a weekend of lovely sunsets over West Bay.