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Sarah Howard Photography

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer

Posted on 8th August, 2019

I have been running workshops taking in Dorset's Jurassic Coast for the last 8 years and it's one location I always look forward to returning to, not least because it possesses a huge amount of variety and opportunities for the photographer. Not only does it have its fair share of iconic landscapes; Durdle Door, Corfe Castle and Harry’s Rocks all demanding attention, but there are also other treasures to be found here, each of them providing plenty of interest and challenges.

Swanage Bay

The seaside resort of Swanage, which is our base for our workshops, is largely known amongst photographers for its' old pier, but the seafront is also a wonderful location for photography, with the possibility of creating some wonderful minimalist images, making use of long exposures. Swanage Bay’s northern end is home to a number of wooden groynes which provide ideal lead in lines and also plenty of interesting texture. Long exposures work particularly well here, as the waves swirl around the groynes.

Banjo Jetty, located at the centre of Swanage Bay, also makes for a pleasing composition looking out to sea, and it's is a good sunrise spot. Then of course there is the main Victorian pier, together with the characterful remains of its neighbouring old pier. The latter is ideal for minimalist compositions, whilst the Victorian pier has some wonderful architecture in the form of street lamps, wrought iron benches and ornate iron railings.

Peveril Point

Located at the southernmost trip of Swanage Bay, the rocky ledges which stretch out to sea at Peveril Point often witness some dramatic crashing waves. This is a superb spot for capturing motion, whether it is experimenting with either long exposures to soften the waves or fast shutter speeds to freeze them. Simple compositions work best here and monochrome is certainly worth considering here.

Kingston Lacey's Beech Avenue

It may be a way away from the coast but it’s well worth a detour to this magnificent sweeping cathedral like avenue of beech trees. Planted back in 1835, the mile long avenue is now one of the most photographed tree lined roads in the UK. A misty day will provide added atmosphere.

Compositions here can be challenging, not least because of the busy road. The relatively wide angle image above, emphasises the structure of the tree avenue, and suited a mono conversion. A longer lens can also work well, compressing perspective. A breezy day also allows for the opportunity to try either multiple exposures or long exposures, both of which will record the movement of the leaves.

Man O' War Bay

Located to the east of Durdle Door, this is one of this stretch of Jurassic Coasts hidden treasures with its aquamarine water and wonderful curved shape. Whilst the beach is currently not accessible, there are great views to be had over the bay from the cliff tops.

Corfe Castle

A must for the photographer, this evocative ruin which dominates the the little village of Corfe. Situated between two hills, there are fabulous views of the castle from both East and West Hill with the village of Corfe below. It’s well worth an early start to get here for dawn for the chance of catching some mist swirling around the valley, particularly during the months of September and October.

Kimmeridge Bay

Kimmeridge Bay features some of the most important geology anywhere on the Jurassic Coast. The main attraction here are the rock ledges which protrude out to sea. It is best visited on a low tide when the rock ledges, along with numerous fossils embedded in them are exposed. Long exposures are worth trying here, either looking straight out to sea or east towards Clavell’s Tower, which provides added interest.  Clavells Pier, found to the east of the Bay, is a rocky feature which acts as a water break, and is another point of interest.


 
Durdle Door

Infamous Durdle Door has to be one of the highlights of a photographic trip to Dorset. Well photographed it may be, but for good reason. There are numerous possibilities here, from wide-angle cliff top views looking down to the rock arch and beach below, as well as views of the distinctive chalk cliffs towards Bats Head, to water’s edge images, where you can work with the waves. 

Timing is everything here, as for much of the day the rock arch itself is in shadow. I find visiting late afternoon through to early evening and sunset from mid-September to mid-October works well, with the setting sun lighting up the edge of Durdle Door.

Our two day workshop in Dorset, which takes place on September 27th - 29th 2019 and will be scheduled again for late February 2020, takes in the very best of the Isle of Purbeck and its outstanding coastal scenery. It is a good all round workshop giving you ample practice in composition, working with filters, and capturing water. You can also be assured of plenty of exercise, lots of challenges, and some great fish and chips!

You can find out more about our Dorset Jurassic Coast workshop on the Image Seen website

 

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Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

Dorset - a Box of Delights for the Landscape Photographer Image

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