Where land meets sea

The last few weeks have been hard and blogging has been far from my mind. But I wanted to share this slideshow, which I made for a talk I gave in the summer at the Shed Gallery’s ‘Muse’ exhibition in Lyme Regis. It features a few of my own pictures, but mostly inspirational images by other photographers that I selected from the Gallery, on the theme of my talk, coastal photography. Being a very proud Mummy, I must add that my favourite thing about it is the music, an original score composed and recorded for the talk by my very talented daughter, Maggie Talibart. Not too shabby for thirteen!

Textures of Lyme

Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis, on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, is one of my favourite towns. One morning in August last year I left my family enjoying the sandy beach and went hunting for images. I have shared some of my larger compositions in earlier posts, but I also snapped up some details, trying to capture some of the textures of the harbour.

Lyme Regis

Can you see a face?

The distinctive S shape of Lyme’s famous seawall, The Cobb, has become a symbol for the town.
Lyme Regis
The harbour is used by pleasure boats and fishing boats, and there are plenty of interesting textures in the paraphernalia of the trade.
Lyme Regis
Old wooden hulls contrast with modern plastic fenders.
Lyme Regis
Colours of rust show up against black doors.
rusty locks
There are plenty of interesting signs as well, some with a sense of humour.
Lyme Regis
This last shot is more about people than textures, although I suppose the town’s people are part of its texture on a larger scale. Appropriate to its strong maritime flavour, Lyme Regis has a Boat Building Academy. I snapped some youngsters taking a break from their craft.
Lyme Regis
More from Lyme another day.

Walking on the ledge


kimmeridge dorset

16mm, f22, 1/3, ISO 100

Mostly I go for a naturalistic approach but sometimes it’s fun to play around with black and white, and a little bit of colour.  Kimmeridge Bay is on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.  It is best known as a ‘honeypot’ location for spectacular sunset and sunrise shots.  But what can you do when the weather doesn’t co-operate?  Give it up as a bad job or try for something a little more creative?  Some of my other images from this shoot are here, here and here.

Mudeford sundowner

In August we spent a week in Mudeford, Dorset. On the day we arrived it rained without respite. I knew that the next day would be my best bet for a decent sunset; the light is almost always at its best after heavy rain. So I headed down to the harbour edge and scouted around for a composition. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be in luck but, as the sun started to dip below the horizon, things started to get interesting.
I often find that the best shots happen just after the sun has set. Then it throws its rays up into the atmosphere, catching the undersides of clouds and, if you are lucky, bathing them in pink.
Mudeford is at the mouth of Christchurch Harbour, a natural harbour just on the Dorset side of the Dorset/Hampshire border, with the New Forest National Park and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site practically on the doorstep. We loved it there and will definitely be back, soon.
There has lately been some interest in seeing my shooting and processing data. All of these shots were taken at 16mm, ISO 100 and f.16 using 2/3 bracketed RAW exposures ranging from 1/8 to 2.5 seconds, with tripod, remote release and circ. polariser. Blended in CS4 using layer masks. Correction of lens distortion also in CS4. Colours straight out of camera.

Broken Light


I hope you will forgive me for reposting this image, which I first blogged last year.  At that time, The Broken Light Collective asked me if I would allow them to use the image.  Shame on me I have only just this week got around to sending it!  The Collective is a group of photographers living with, or affected by, mental illness.  I am honoured that Into the Mist is currently their featured image and I cannot think of a better use for it than as inspiration for anyone who might be struggling with illness.

On Bournemouth Beach


What a wonderful afternoon I spent on Bournemouth Beach on Friday. You have to love the British seaside out of season; gorgeous expanses of pristine sand (Bournemouth is a Blue Flag beach) and hardly a soul about. I set myself a challenge and went equipped with only my wide angled lens (16-35mm on full frame).


It wasn’t the most spectacular of sunsets but gentle, beguiling, like the lapping waves. When I came to process these images, they seemed to demand a naturalistic approach.


With the horizons more or less in the centre of the frame, these images break the rules. I think that composing with the horizon on a third often works well as the photographer thereby communicates clearly what he or she is most interested in, the foreground or the sky. However, here I found myself wanting to efface the photographer from the landscape. And, truth be told, I just couldn’t bring myself to crop out any of that view. Half is the new third?

Last light at Kimmeridge

Another photo from my evening shoot at Kimmeridge Bay last month. The iconic landmark on the headland is Clavell’s Tower.
Built in 1830 by Reverend Clavell as an observatory and folly, the tower has inspired writers ever since. Thomas Hardy took his sweetheart, Eliza Nicholl, to the tower and included an illustration of it in his Wessex Poems. It was also the inspiration for P. D. James’s novel, The Black Tower and was used as a location in the television adaptation of the story. Moreover, it appeared in the music video for The Style Council’s single, ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf’.

Between 2006 and 2008 the whole tower was painstakingly moved, stone by stone, 25 metres inland to save it from cliff erosion that threatened to send it crashing into the Bay. It is now operated as a holiday let by The Landmark Trust.