Cornwall Landscape Photography : Porth Nanven, Bottalack, Godrevy & St Michaels Mount
26th March 2011 - 0 comments
Cornwall Landscape Photography
Porth Nanven revisited

A weekend spent in the Cornish landscape, along with a group of fellow photographer, all under the watchful eyes of Ross Hoddinott & Mark Bauer of Dawn2Dusk Photography.

We spent the weekend running around the mist/fog covered landscapes of Cornwall, including Godrevy Lighthouse, the Bottalack Tin Mines, Porth Nanven and then St Michaels Mount for sunrise the following day.

Well, it would have been great, but the mist rolled in and we couldn't see Godrevy for quite a while, and even when we did, it was shrouded in mist.

The mines at Bottalack were much the same, with low lying cloud or fog covering much of the hillsides around the remaining ruined buildings.

The sunset at Porth Nanven was a little better, with the mist lifting to leave a cloudy, dark and moody scene acros the rocks towards the Brisons as the tide came back in. A few long exposure shots caught the atmosphere.

Sunrise on Sunday morning ..... well, at St Michaels Mount, from halfway across the causeway, we still coudln't see the island at all!! A very foggy start to the day.

A great fun weekend, and a few good pics to share from it. Thanks to Ross & Mark for looking after us so well, and for keeping us entertained.

Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over Golden Cap
23rd March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over Golden Cap

As the sunset tonight in a clear blue sky, it lit up the cliffs along the coast with the last of the Golden Hour light. Along with a low tide down at Charmouth, I decided to capture a different shot of Golden Cap.

The tide was low, the waves were very slight and the colours were glowing in the last of the afternoon sunlight.

Using a 10-stop filter, the Lee Big Stopper, the exposure time was 77 seconds, smoothing the water to mist. It was a shame there weren't any clouds in the sky, but still a lovely sunset.

There were a few members of the public out watching the sunset tonight, including a young lad from Chideock who had a remote control 'car' running around the beach. Congratulations to him for getting it up to 60mph and designing and building a carbon-fibre body at college. Cool!
Dorset Landscape Photography : Stormy Seatown
22nd March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Stormy Seatown

As the spring tides brough the lowest and highest tides of the year, I was hoping for great photo opportunities along the Jurassic Coast, with banks of rocks and ledges becoming visible at many of the coastal locations.

Seatown beach, in the shadow of Golden Cap, revealed a whole selection of rocks and boulders along the western half of the beach, which offered great photo potential. However, the weather on Tuesday lunchtime (the time of low tide) was thick cloud cover, giving the whole area an almost stormy look and feel.

Its definately a location to return to when the weather plays along.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunrise over Corfe Castle
22nd March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunrise over Corfe Castle

Despite the forecast of mist and fog for Corfe & Wareham, it was relatively clear when I arrived early thismorning and started to climb West Hill, along with a number of other photographers.... all out trying to catch that magical classic Dorset shot of Corfe in the mist.

As the sun rose through the layers of thin cloud along the horizon, the mist slowly started to build and waft in from across the valleys and slowly but surely, surrounded the castle.

It ended up being a wonderful sunrise and with the mists, I was able to capture a few shots I was happy with, which will be added into the gallery shortly.

I met a number of ther photographers up there this morning, so Good Morning to Peter, Andy and all the others who were 'lucky' enough to see the sunrise too.

Dorset Landscape Photography : White Nothe afternoon
21st March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
White Nothe afternoon

It was a glorious afternoon as I drove up to Ringstead Bay and walked over to White Nothe. It was warm and the sun was shining brightly and the skies were clear.

The view from the top of White Nothe along the South West Coastal Path towards Bats Head and Durdle Door was stunning. The contrast of the blue skies, white cliffs and blue calm seas made it look almost Mediterranean or Caribbean .... well I do have a vivid imagination.

Its worth a visit if your over that way. Its a great walk from either Ringstead Bay or up from Durdle Door and Bats Head, and the views are stunning.

Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset inside the Door
20th March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset at Durdle Door

Its the time of year when the sun sets and shines its light inside the arch over at Durdle Door. It only happens twice a year and lasts for about 10 days each time.

The skies were clear and it looked like the sun would light up the inside of the Door really well, but in the last 10 minutes, the sun dropped behind a bank of clouds. Before it fdropped however, it managed to light up the arch for a short while, before fading away.

They were only a few people out tonight, which was surprising, as it had been a lovely afternoon, clearing to blue skies and relatively warm, but there were only 2 photographers on the beach tonight.

As it set behind the clouds, it did manage to colour the skies for a few minutes, creating a peaceful sunset, with dusky pinks across the sky.

Dorset Landscape Photography : Low tides at Kimmerdige Bay
20th March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Low tides at Kimmeridge Bay

The low spring tides left most of Kimmeridge Bay and ledges uncovered this weekend. The lowest tides of the year left the banks glimmering in the afternoon sunshine, leaving the area looking like the surface of the Moon or Mars.

With so much uncovered and with so many patterns, textures and terrains to work with, this is a great place to visit and explore.

After leaving Kimmeridge and heading over to Lulworth for sunset, the whole area seemed to be covered in a dense mist, and with the setting sun shining directly throughi it, it was backlighting the landscape, making for some interesting shots.

Dorset Landscape Photography : Super Moon
19th March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Super Moon

The Super Moon rose just a few minutes after sunset, which gave the moon a wonderful red / orange glow to it as it rose through the layer of smog / mist that was sitting along the horizon.

Seen here rising above Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, across the Solent and with the yachts of Keyhaven and the Keyhaven Marshes in the foreground.

I took this shot using the Nikon 70-200VR lens, and then switched to my Sigma 300mm so I could zoom in even closer. However, the Sigma developed a problem with its autofocus mechanism, which I did not realise until afterwards, so this is one of the only shots of the Super Moon I managed to capture. Enjoy it!
Dorset Landscape Photography : Spring tides, Super Moons and Mists everywhere
18th March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Spring tides, Super Moons and mists everywhere

A weekend of promise approaches .... a super full moon, closer to the Earth than its been in years, Spring tides offering the highest and lowest of the year and a weekend where mist seemed to be rollowing across the landscape.....

The moonrise the night before the 'Super Moon' was due, was still a great sight, with the moon rising over the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast. As the moon rose a few minutes before sunset, the cliffs along Golden Cap, West Bay, Burton Bradstock catch the last of the golden light.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Fire in the Sky over Hive Beach
15th March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Fire in the Sky over Hive Beach

The sunset looked promising this evening. Broken clouds were right across the sky and although there was a small bank of cloud on the horizon, it looked as though it wouldn't affect the after glow. For once, it played out exactly as that!

The clouds lit up as the sun set, firstly a white / milky colour which slowly tuned orange as the sun went down and then for a few minutes, it turned to these wonderful, fire'y colours ..... dusky pinky-blues, through pinks, orange and golds ... it really did look like the sky was on fire.

The boats on Burton Bradstocks Hive Beach once again form the foreground. The sun is moving North again as we head into Spring and the fishermen will start launching them off the beaches again soon, so it will all change down here shortly.

Nikon D90, Sigma 10-20mm @ 10mm, F9, 1/4 sec, Lee 0.6ND Hard Grad, ISO 100
Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over Freshwater (with a glass of wine)
13th March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over Freshwater, with a glass of wine

Following a grey and colourless trip to Dartmoor yesterday, it was amazing to see how clear the air was on Sunday. Driving East from Devon, back in to Dorset, the views were stunning and Portland could be seen from right across Lyme Bay, glistening in the afternoon sunshine.

Sunset was looking promising, so we set off to walk the cliff tops of Burton Bradstock heading from the river outlet at Freshwater Beach. A friend of mine, Cerian, joined me for the shoot, but doing it in style with a bottle of Rioja to help it along.

The sun was shining bright lighting up Portland beyond the golden cliffs, but the wonderful cloud patterns in the skies above Lyme Bay were disappearing fast and by the time sunset arrived, the majority had gone, leaving a few dusky pink streaks across the sky.

The Rioja certainly helped. Thanks Cerian.
Devon Landscape photography : Up on Dartmoor
12th March 2011 - 0 comments
Devon Landscape Photography
Up on Dartmoor : exploring the Tors

A quick trip to go and visit some of the Tors and woodlands up on Dartmoor this weekend. The weather was grey and very overcast, with lots of haze around, so it was more of a recky trip than anything else.

First stop was Haytor, which as it was a dry and sort-of-sunny Sunday afternoon, was covered in people clambering all over it, so we quickly moved onto Saddle Tor which was much more enjoyable, with many varying rock formations, with many seemingly resting on their edges, or hovering in mid-air. If only there had been some different light.... another time.

Houndtor was next, which is a spralling mass of rocks and formations but was again covered in climbing children and families. The view from behind Houndtor, across Smallacoombe Rocks and up to Haytor was good and worth a return trip in decent light.

Lastly, following a tip from a friend who lives down that way (Thanks Mark!) we visted Wistmans Woods, a mile or so north of Two Bridges. A very old and ancient stunted Oak forest, it has a spooky and somewhat odd feel to it. Being spring there was no canopy and the lichens, ferns and algi were not in full growth, but it still made me think I had walked onto the set of Lord of the Rings and the forest scenes.

Finally a big thank you to Mark Lakemans for all his guidance and suggestions and to Cerian and Roody for their company up on the hills.
Dorset Landscape Photography : Trees, Trees & more trees
10th March 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Trees, trees & more trees

The skies have been very hazy lately, with unclear skies and misty-looking valleys, so tonight, with the sun setting in and out from behinds broken clouds, I headed up onto the hills surrounding Bridport, Mapperton and Beaminster to see what I could find.

The evening ended up being all about trees. Thier shapes, forms, the patterns, their shadows, and the layers across the valleys set up by the haze and setting sun.

I started up on the top of Eggardon Hill, looking down across the valleys into Bridport, shooting into the sun to cause the trees to highlight and to form the patterns across the landscape.

From there, I followed on through Hooke, stopping off to see the progress of the Bluebells, which are still some time off. Then headed on to the hills over Mapperton and Beaminster, where the sun was setting across the valley.

Tonight was just a bit of fun. Shooting directly into the sun, with the resulting glare and issues with exposure is never easy, but tonight I also had strong winds gusting up the valley and through the gaps in the hedge, which added to the experience!!

DSLR Photography Magazine : 1 Hour Photo shoot
01st March 2011 - 0 comments
Here is a copy of the recent article in the DSLR magazine ...

Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over Kimmeridge Bay
24th February 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over Clavell Pier, Kimmeridge Bay

It was a busy evening down at Kimmeriedge tonight, with surfers out playing with the waves, folks kyaking in the bay, walkers stretching thier legs and a few other photographers out to capture the last few minutes of the evening light. We all got to see a wonderful sunset.

As the sun set, the high level cloud turned a dusky pinky blue. Using the Lee Big Stopper to quiet down the waves and add some movement to the clouds, the old Clavells Pier takes on a more dramatic look and feel.
Cornwall Landscape Photography : A weekend in West Cornwall
21st February 2011 - 1 comment
Cornwall Landscape Photography
A misty and foggy weekend in West Cornwall

Poor weather conditions dominated this weekend as I travelled down to West Cornwall for a weekend of photography. Basing myself in St Ives, I wanted to visit the Tin Mines at Bottalack along with a trip to Cott Valley, Porth Nanven.

A bank of low lying cloud seemed to be lying across the area for the entire weekend, sometimes masquerading as mist or even fog, but it meant some challenging conditions to get some interesting light. To add some drama to the shots this weekend, I used the Lee Big Stopper in many of the shots, to add some movement and interest.

Low tides were also around this weekend, and at Porth Nanven, it uncovered a whole series of rock formations. There were so many options of compositions to shoot, that you could easily spend hours down there. I decided to use the large rounded boulders as the foreground and a long exposure to soften the water and turn the waves into mist.

A different composition, but again using the wonderful rock formations as the foreground interest.

Just up the coast from Porth Nanven are the Bottlack Tin Mines, with old disused mins laid out across the hillside. As I drove over the hills to get there, it was thick fog, but as I parked up and walked down the hillside to the viewpoint, I ended up under the clouds and mist, and even caught some sunshine for a while.

To get to the viewpoint, you have to go across a metre wide path, around 15m long, with a drop either side of a few hundred feet, down to the crashing waves below. All very dramatic! I used the Big Stopper to soften the crashing waves and create the highlighting effect on the water.

A coule of other shots of interest form the weekend .....
Firstly, as the low tide emptied out St Ives Harbour, it allowed a different viewpoint. Using the Big Stopper to add drama to the skies and soften the reflections in the water, I like the overall dramatic effect on this one.

The last one of the weekend was of St Michaels Mount. As I arrived at Marazion, the sun disappeared behind the bank of cloud/fog that was hanging around. The clouds were moving fast in a strong breeze, so once again I used the Big Stopper to add some drama.

Dorset Landscape Photography : Misty Sunrise over Bridport
08th February 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Misty Sunrise over Bridport

A cold and still morning allowed the mists to form in the valleys around the quarry hills of Bridport this morning.

Arriving at the top of Quarry Hill with 30 mins to go before sunrise and the mists building across the valley floor, Bridport had disappeared under the covering.

As we neared sunrise, the mists built even more, growing around the base of Colmers Hill before withdrawing with the heat of the sun building.

As the sun rose, the light shone across the valley, lighting up the mists across the valley floor, hitting Colmers Hill and the surrounding fields.

Dorset Landscape Photography : A day on the Jurassic Coast
03rd February 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
A day on the Jurassic Coast

With the sunrise moving further North now as we head into spring, it is the last few days of watching the sunrise along/over the beaches down here in Dorset, so I headed off to West Bay this morning to catch the last of it.

The sky was covered in broken clouds which were catching the light quite well, offering some great colours as I arrived, but the waves were breaking up the beach and the spray was covering everything. I took a few shots, but the spray-covered filters were not helping.

As the sun broke the horizon, it was hidden behind some low lying clouds/mist/fog which allowed me to shoot straight into it and capture it breaking over the cliffs of Burton Bradstock, while the sky was glowing orange around it.

Later in the day, with much broken cloud still around, I headed for Kimmeridge Bay which, with a low and rising tide, promised to give some interesting shots.

As I arrived, the clouds above were breaking but building on the horizon and the wind was picking up again. I setup looking out over Clavell's Pier, one of my favourite spots in Kimmeridge Bay, and waited to see what developed.

As the sun disappeared behind the clouds sitting on the horizon it all looked dull and rather grey, but after a few minutes some colour started building in the clouds above and the rays of the sun from below the horizon started breaking up into the sky, giving a fan pattern.

Using the Lee Big Stopper 10-stop filter, an exposure of 3 minutes gives a smoothing effect on the water whilst providing some movement in the clouds.

I wasn't sure about the colour version of this, so I converted it to black and white using Silver Efex Pro. Let me know which you prefer.

Dorset Landscape Photography : Digital SLR Magazine
02nd February 2011 - 2 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Digital SLR Magazine : 1-Hour Photo

Earlier in January, I met up with Ross Hoddinott to take part in this challenge for the March edition of the magazine.

The challenge was to focus on the use of foreground interest in landscape photography and we met up at Kimmeridge Bay with a low'ish tide in early January, on a cold and clear day.

After warming ourselves over coffee and discussing the afternoon's challenge, we walked down to the bay towards some of the ledges and rocks that were uncovered by the low tide.

There were 3 main elements to the challenge : to look at lead-in lines and the how the use of horizontal or vertical formats affected this; maximising depth-of-field and achieving balance in the frame. The results from these 3 sessions are shown below.

The challenge wa sponsored by Nikon and I was able to use the latest D7000 and 16-35mm F4 lens, which was good fun and helped me make the decision to upgrade my own lenses, which I did the following week.

The main photo shown above was taken at the very end of the day, after sunset, as the clouds began to light up a wonderful dusky pink. Using a Lee Big Stopper to soften the water and capture slight movement in the clouds.
D7000, 16-35mm Nikkor @ 16mm, F11, 30 secs, Lee 0.6 ND hard grad & Big Stopper, ISO100

Dorset Landscape Photography : Sunset over the Cobb
31st January 2011 - 0 comments
Dorset Landscape Photography
Sunset over the Cobb

As the sun starts turning North again as we move into spring, its the last few days to catch the sun setting over Lyme Regis and the Cobb, from Charmouth, before it starts setting over the hills and mainland once again.

I ventured out again tonight as the sky was clearing and with plenty of breaks in the clouds, I thought we might have a good one.

As I arrived at Charmouth, the clouds have thickened again and started to lower, leaving just a think bank between them and the horizon. The sun popped out for a few minutes before finally setting, but we didnt have the skies like yesterday. Still, was a lovely sunset to capture.