Despite my love of photographing the beautiful scenery around my home county Northamptonshire, a trip to Dorset in late April made a nice change.
It is a stunning part of the world that has so much variety so before the trip I short listed the places I most wanted to visit. You can't go to Dorset and not visit Durdle Door, so on the first evening we took a short hike down to Lulworth Cove before heading back to Durdle Door to get some late evening shots. The arch looked great, glowing in the evening sun but being such an iconic place, the beach was littered with tourists. I wanted a natural looking shot of Durdle Door and the surrounding coastline so, to blur out all human activity, I attached my long exposure filter to the camera which produced some shots I was very happy with.
I was up early on day 2 for some sunrise photography and Osmington Mills was my location of choice. A rugged bit of coastline with a waterfall spilling over onto a rocky beach was a great setting for some sunrise photography, and unlike Durdle Door, apart from a couple of pied wagtails, I had the whole beach to myself.
Colmers Hill was next on the list; this was meant to be another sunrise location for me but unfortunately the weather forecast was set for generally overcast conditions for the remaining mornings of the trip so I decided to visit here in the afternoon. We parked the car in the nearby picturesque village of Symondsbury and walked up the footpath to the view points of the hill. I think a bit more blue sky would have produced better shots but it was still a lovely walk.
That evening, we headed to Kimmeridge Bay which wasn't actually on my list at all, but this beach was apparently great for sunset photography. The trend of the trip continued and cloudy skies had moved in again so nice colourful sunset shots were out of the question, but to my surprise the dark clouds worked tremendously well with the location and I was able to get some dramatic shots. Despite the threatening skies, it was very calm and peaceful, like the calm before the storm. It felt like I was standing on a remote, rugged Scandinavian coast, miles from anyone and then I turned around to find a family cooking dinner on a BBQ. I hope they didn't get rained on! I think this was my favourite place of the trip.
After a busy second day, and with overcast conditions again, I treated myself to a lay in on day 3. We had a walk around Poole and then Sandbanks before heading over to Old Harry Rocks and the Pinnacles for a bit of photography. These chalk formations mark the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast. We visited Corfe Castle that evening; I had planned to visit here one morning in the hope that some mist would be present but with the cloudy conditions I altered the plans and headed here for some sunset shots. It looked like conditions were improving on the drive over so I was hopeful of getting some good ones but thicker cloud had moved in by the time I'd got to my vantage point. It was still an incredible ruin to photograph though.
We stopped at Kingston Lacy on the drive back to Northamptonshire and, with it being the end of our break, the sun decided to make an appearance really complimenting the spring colours in the gardens of this lovely stately home. A tree lined path surrounded by spring flowers was the final picture I took on our trip, a perfect way to end our time in Dorset.
It was a very enjoyable trip and as I said earlier, Dorset offers so much variety for a landscape photographer. From the rugged Jurassic Coast, quaint coastal towns, vast hilly countryside and lovely rural villages, it was a real pleasure to explore and photograph this stunning part of the country. :)
Dorset, April 2017
Northamptonshire based nature photographer