I recently had to give an interview in which I was asked to name my favourite landscape location. I found it difficult to answer as I tend to be focused on wherever I am with my camera at any given moment. However, one place popped into my head unbidden. Anyone who has been around here long enough will not be surprised that I thought of La Corbière.
Guarding the extreme Western edge of Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands, this lighthouse has well and truly captured my imagination.
We have been to Jersey three times during the last two years and during each visit I have devoted evenings to this one place. There is something about the way the lonely, white lighthouse sits out at sea, precariously perched on Jersey’s characteristic red rock, that stirs the soul.
It has so many moods. Sometimes, it is wild and windswept, spray beaten and inaccessible. At others it is almost serene, especially at low tide when reflected in the still pool at its base.
On one occasion, during my only Autumnal visit so far, low clouds dispersed the setting sun, crowning the lighthouse with rays.
For the photographer, La Corbière offers so many possibilities. When the tide is out, a causeway is revealed, making perfect lead-in lines. Interesting rocks and pools create endless compositional opportunities and ensure that even if there are other photographers about, there’s plenty of space for everyone.
When the tide is in, higher and wider views can be had from the cliff top. Even in high summer, there is a good chance of having the lighthouse to oneself, or perhaps just sharing it with one other photographer and maybe a romantic couple watching the sunset.
There is one mood I have yet to witness, however. Each time we have been there, the weather has been fairly mild. I have yet to see the lighthouse brave a proper storm. To capture a mighty wave crashing over the tower would really be something. I will just have to keep going back!