Random Dorset

This penultimate post of images from my summer trip to Dorset is a bit of a grab bag of the images I took that didn’t really fit into the any of the other posts I’ve put out so far. It was a relatively photo-light trip by my usual standards and so there were plenty of occasions when I only took a handful of shots, not enough to justify a post of their own.

The first shot is a retake of a photo I took some years ago, before Creative Splurges was even a thing. One of my favourite walks anywhere (as I’m sure I’ve already mentioned in the past) is along the cost path from Peveril Point to Durlston Head. There is a spot on this walk where you can look back through a gap in the bushes and see Peveril Point with Old Harry Rocks behind it, with Bournemouth behind that, all nicely framed by the greenery.

1/250, f/8, ISO 100, 32mm
1/250, f/8, ISO 100, 32mm

One of the things I love about the walk is strolling atop the cliff on Durlston Bay, looking out over the English Channel. There’s always something going on, like fishing boats or boats full of divers going out to swim on the various shipwrecks in the area, or from time to time the coastguard helicopter based in Portland will fly past on a mission or patrol.

This day was no exception. There were yachts, canoes and speedboats, all passing by at angles where I could frame out the horizon to give the impression of infinite ocean.

1/500, f/6.3, ISO 100, 300mm
1/500, f/6.3, ISO 100, 300mm
1/400, f/6.3, ISO 100, 300mm
1/400, f/6.3, ISO 100, 300mm
1/500, f/6.3, ISO 100, 300mm
1/500, f/6.3, ISO 100, 300mm

The length of this walk really depends on how we feel on the day. Usually we’ll always make it as far as Durlston Castle, where if the weather and mood takes us we’ll stop for a breather and some ice cream. Other times we’ll head on past the castle, to the Tilly Whim Caves and beyond towards the Anvil Point Lighthouse.

1/250, f/8, ISO 100, 45mm
1/250, f/8, ISO 100, 45mm

Usually, our walk never makes it past the large dip that comes just before the lighthouse. It’s a moderately steep descent and climb to get up to the lighthouse itself, something which defeated us on all but one occasion when I was younger and visiting with my family, and always seemed like a natural stopping point when walking with Holly, who is not often given over to walking long distances.

This time, it was certainly a good place to stop and have lunch (something we’re not usually organised enough to bring with us). Whilst we were sitting around eating and relaxing a little, I took a local wander and a few more pictures. This is where I found all of the wild flowers I’ve already shared with you. From where we were sitting we had a nice view of the Tilly Whim Caves. Not being in possession of a wide angle lens, I once again decided to rely on Lightroom’s exceptional photo stitching to get everything in view.

1/100, f/8, ISO 100 (panorama)
1/100, f/8, ISO 100 (panorama)

People continued to float past too, as the canoeists had caught up with us.

1/320, f/4.5, ISO 100, 85mm
1/320, f/4.5, ISO 100, 85mm

This impressive sailboat passed by too.

1/800, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
1/800, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm

Once we were fed and a little rested, we continued on to the lighthouse – and beyond, into the National Trust land where the crowds rarely tread. It wasn’t long before we were greeted by some wildlife.

1/1000, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
1/1000, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm

And also an entirely different sort of wildlife.

1/5000, f/5.6, ISO 640, 300mm
1/5000, f/5.6, ISO 640, 300mm

A little further along the coast, we came across a large pylon of some kind, presumably a marker for something. I took a few different shots of it, and processed them into monochrome using a few different presets in Silver Efex Pro (now free, so you should definitely go grab it).

1/800, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/800, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

If you’re a regular reader of this site you’ll know I often find myself torn between the colour and monochrome versions of an image (I’m sure I’m also not the only person who has this issue). Sometimes, however, I can be torn between different monochrome versions of an image. With this structure, I loved the texture of the metal that one of the presets brought out – but I also liked the structure itself, and turning it into a silhouette, so both are presented below.

1/800, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/800, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/800, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/800, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

Ultimately, I suspect I prefer the texture shot.

1/800, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/800, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

We kept walking and walking. Eventually we realised we had walked quite a long way and would need to cover the same distance back in the other direction. Before we turned around I took a panoramic shot of where we got to.

1/160, f/8, ISO 100 (panorama)
1/160, f/8, ISO 100 (panorama)

All told we got to about three quarters of a mile from Dancing Ledge, where 100 years ago a school blasted a swimming pool into the rock with dynamite. I’m a bit disappointed that we hadn’t planned our walk better that we could do a long loop rather than straight out and backtracking, but then if we’d planned exactly how far we’d walk we would never have gone that far. By the time we returned all the way back to our accommodation, we’d covered over 12 miles.

1/50, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/50, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

On the way back I actually stopped to photograph the lighthouse.

1/250, f/9, ISO 100, 24mm
1/250, f/9, ISO 100, 24mm

A day later, we visited Wareham. I went for a bit of a wander along the river whilst Holly, whose legs had not recovered from that walk, sat up in a pub. I didn’t take a lot of photos there, but I like this shot of a boatman having a break with his newspaper.

1/800, f/4, ISO 100, 105mm
1/800, f/4, ISO 100, 105mm

And also this shot of a couple with their puppy rowing along the river.

1/1000, f/4, ISO 100, 88mm
1/1000, f/4, ISO 100, 88mm

The next day we visited Bournemouth, were we used a rainy morning to visit the Bournemouth Aquarium. After lunch things brightened up a bit and we went for a walk along the promenade.

1/250, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/250, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

Also a spot of random passings, two GoPro-equipped skateboarders flew by.

1/200, f/8, ISO 100, 75mm
1/200, f/8, ISO 100, 75mm

The main thing though was the sky, dramatically bridging the gap between a morning of rain and an afternoon of sun.

f/8, ISO 100, 24mm (HDR)
f/8, ISO 100, 24mm (HDR)

The sea was a lovely turquoise blue. I found a red marker at the end of a groyne which contrasted the colours well.

1/8000, f/1.4, ISO 100, 50mm
1/8000, f/1.4, ISO 100, 50mm

On our way back, we stopped up a hill overlooking Poole Harbour, where I experimented with far wider panorama than normal – this image is made up of seven individual shots stitched together (I recommend clicking on the image to embiggen it).

1/250, f/8, ISO 100 (panorama)
1/250, f/8, ISO 100 (panorama)

As we were staying in Swanage, I ended up taking quite a few pictures of it. The seafront in this image hasn’t changed much in many, many years.

1/125, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm
1/125, f/8, ISO 100, 24mm

We took a walk along the front of Peveril Point, where I ended up photographing some random nautical things on the jetties.

1/1250, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/1250, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/800, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/800, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/160, f/4, ISO 100, 95mm
1/160, f/4, ISO 100, 95mm

Whilst there, a fishing boat drove past being tailed by a bunch of seagulls waiting for an opportunity to get some dinner.

1/1250, f/4.5, ISO 100, 115mm
1/1250, f/4.5, ISO 100, 115mm

We walked up the hill, and I took another panorama of the town. The automatic panorama stitching in Lightroom continues to impress me.

1/250, f/9, ISO 100 (panorama)
1/250, f/9, ISO 100 (panorama)

On one of our last days of our break, we headed west towards Charmouth and did some fossil hunting. The journey back, across almost the entire width of the county of Dorset, is one of my favourite drives anywhere (and I’ve driven over the Alps). The Jurassic Coast Road follows the coast from West Bay to Weymouth, taking in great views but, more importantly, is a twisty-turney country road that’s just huge fun to drive on. As you approach Weymouth and Portland you get some great views of Chesil Beach, a bit of an unusual beach in that it has water on both sides.

1/320, f/9, ISO 100, 40mm
1/320, f/9, ISO 100, 40mm

A bit further along the road you come to Abbotsbury, home to a swannery that after two decades of visiting the area I’ve still never been to. In fact, Abbotsbury generally I just drive through rather than stopping. There is however a chapel atop the hill that warrants a stop to look, albeit from a distance.

1/200, f/9, ISO 100, 50mm
1/200, f/9, ISO 100, 50mm
1/200, f/9, ISO 100, 105mm
1/200, f/9, ISO 100, 105mm

Whilst there, with these beautiful hills, low-lying clouds over the sea, Chesil Beach and Portland in the distance, I decided to do another panorama to take it all in. This shot is composed of ten images algorithmed together.

1/320, f/9, ISO 100 (panorama)
1/320, f/9, ISO 100 (panorama)

When I turned to get back into the car, I couldn’t help but grab a shot of the transport that was taking us.

1/80, f/9, ISO 100, 40mm
1/80, f/9, ISO 100, 40mm

On our last day, after we’d checked out, we spent some time in Swanage itself, making the most of the day before we headed home. There I took a few shots of the seagulls in the town, in action poses of sorts.

1/500, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
1/500, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
1/640, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
1/640, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
1/800, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
1/800, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm

And one guy giving a grumpy pose.

1/1250, f/4.5, ISO 100, 115mm
1/1250, f/4.5, ISO 100, 115mm

As you can see, I took a bit of a random assortment of photos on this holiday. When I’m away on vacation I tend to be a bit more reserved in taking photographs, not getting too shutter-happy. I guess it’s to keep me relaxing – and so I don’t end up with thousands of images to sift through when I get home, as I did after our visit to Tenerife in 2012 or Cornwall in 2013, the images for which I’ve still not finished editing.

I have one more set from this holiday to come, but it’s another smaller, more concise set. When you see it you’ll see why I saved it for last.

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