When I shoot with Paul, I always know that I have way too much to learn and a long, ‘long’ way to go with my landscape photography and this morning was no exception. I have learned not to press that shutter too quickly but on a beach on Dorset with only a few feet for five photographers to get the best position and shuffling up the beach every few seconds, it was all too easy to forget to take that step back and ‘think’.
I had decided to opt for a longer exposure and the experiment with smoothing the sea, which was pretty rough this morning. However, I really ought to have opted for a few shorter exposure shots to widen my choices back home. A lesson learned and reason to revisit Durdle Door in the future.
That said, I’m pretty pleased with this morning’s results and for the reason noted below, this one will be called ‘Lucky – Hole in one’.
The decision to meet Paul, Vicky and Mark on this weekend had been made some time ago. Why this specific weekend with so much going on? Well it was to be one of the few occasions each year where the sun pops up over the horizon and appears through the arch that makes Durdle Door so famous on the Dorset coast.
So, alarm set for 01:00, I was packed and on the road by a quarter passed the hour for the four hour run down to the coast. All was well until just north of Oxford when the rain began to come down and this persisted for the remainder of the journey. Worse still, as I turned onto the coast road, my speed dropped to around 10 mph owing to thick fog – not something any photographer wants to see and definitely not following a long drive.
Time to catch a couple of hours sleep before Paul arrived and Mark shortly after. Thankfully, getting out of the car and looking up the sky was clearing and stars were clearly visible. Would this be a better day after all?
Following the greetings, we grabbed our kit and headed down through the cap site and over the cliff to the beach, the conditions getting better and better all of the time. We often refer to Mark’s luck and today he would come good with a wonderful sky, beautiful sunrise and the sun popped through the arch as hoped. With Marks luck and the sun through the hole in the arch, there really can be only one name for this image.
I would have liked to have caught the scene with a faster shutter speed, but the occasion got the better of me. However, that leaves the challenge open for another time and in the meantime I think that some more coast runs will be in order to practice catching the sea better and also some further work on capturing movement in the sky without over or under doing things.
All that said, the morning was wonderful and I love my chosen image. Unfortunately, Mark’s luck ran out and later in the day our shooting spots were doused in sea water and battered by the winds and we decided to keep Pulpit Rock and Portland Bay Light House for another time.