I have spent the last two Tuesdays at Birling Gap in the South Downs National Park.
Although I love discovering new locations, there is also a joy in revisiting known places.The light is always different, the seasons and weather change and, at the coast there is always the added variable of tides. The first Tuesday, a low tide revealed sand that reflected the cliffs and interesting sky:On my return this week, the tide was shallow, never uncovering the sand. This created a very different mood:
I grew up in this part of the country so photography trips to the South Downs National Park always feel like a coming home.
The chalk-based landscape is really quite special and, at Birling Gap, I love the way grey rocks sit on the chalky base below the white cliffs…
…and the chalk makes the sea bright against a stormy sky. I am heading down to Sussex again tomorrow. As always, I hope for interesting light. But I know that I will enjoy this beautiful place no matter what the weather brings.
Having holidayed in the mountains this year, I have been feeling in need of a coast ‘fix’. So, on Thursday, Jen and I made an evening dash south. We chose Dungeness, honeypot location for landscape photographers. Having lived in the south of England for most of my life, I am not sure how I managed never to go to Dungeness before!
The forecast predicted changeable weather and dramatic skies so we had high expectations. We should have known better. There was a small amount of texture in the sky on our arrival and the promise of some lightning, but in the end the rain washed in and the sky smoothed over.
I took all the usual shots anyway. The scene below is particularly oft-captured, as I know only too well from my evenings judging at camera clubs. But, hey, I’d never been there before! Had to take The Shot. Would have been rude not to.
When the sky gets boring, the long lens comes out for some detail work. Dungeness certainly offers lots of potential there. It’s not my usual style but I enjoyed capturing some images of the netting against the hut.
I am thinking these two might make a nice diptych.
I liked the texture of the partially burnt hut wall.
I can finally see what everyone else has known for ages: Dungeness is cool – weird, but definitely cool. I will be back.
Last month we were in the Canadian Rockies, one of my very favourite places. While we were in Banff we had changeable weather. This was great news for the locals as it helped fight several serious wildfires. It was also great news for me for a less serious reason, as it added drama to my photos. They say that if you don’t like the weather in the Rockies you only need wait 15 minutes and it will have changed. Makes sense to me.
I am just back from an exciting trip to the Lofoten Islands, where we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights on two evenings. Before I went, I was ambivalent about seeing aurora. There are so many pictures of them on the internet these days, and I had seen them before, in Canada decades ago. My purpose in going to Norway was, rather, to capture the beautiful, snow-covered landscape.
However, when green ribbons ripped across the sky that first night on Skagsanden beach, I was as excited as anyone. I was unprepared for the raw power of the spectacle, and for how fast the lights can move. Shutter speeds as fast as 1.3″ were required and even then the lights were occasionally burnt out. It seems incredible that all this drama is silent, apart from whoops of exhilaration from onlookers. I fear photographing aurora may be addictive.
I am just back from an excellent adventure photographing lighthouses along the rugged coast of Brittany, France. The trip was organised by Jonathan Critchley of Ocean Capture. Some may remember that I had a few days in France with Ocean Capture this time last year. There will be more from Brittany soon, but this picture might be my favourite.
Taken on this day last year, these images are studies of the little stilt fishing huts, or ‘carrelets’, that abound in this area of France. For more images from this trip, click on the tag ‘Gironde’.
This shot, from this day last year, is from the French village of Talmonde sur Gironde. Liked the blue door against the pinkish walls. The blossom was a bonus.