25th – 28th August 2017
I’ve fallen into the habit of living my life longing for the North, safe within the thought that the North held everything I want from a landscape: wild mountains, isolated lakes, barren valleys, hidden waterfalls. It’s incredibly rare that I travel South, but the Jurassic Coast had been on location my to-do-list for 2017, and with Summer drawing to a close it was the last opportunity to make the most of the warm weather.
I’d never visited Dorset before, I’d been very close (to Poole, and Bournemouth), but it’s one of those places that feel as though you’ve been because you’ve seen so many photos. Durdle Door has to be one of the most photographed locations in the South of England, and it was firmly at the top priority list for the weekend. Picking Natalie Byrne up en-route, we arrived a little before 1AM, and after setting the tent up tried to get some sleep – our alarms were set for 5AM, just enough time to wake up and get over to Lulworth for sunrise at Durdle Door.
The beauty of Durdle Door didn’t disappoint and we were treated to a beautiful morning of warm sunlight. The blue water sat calm, and the skies a clear light blue. A group of base jumpers were making the most of their morning by plunging from the heights of Swyre Head down onto the beach below. Half way along the headland above the beach we met a couple of other photographers who I knew were in the area: Jack Harding, Emma Janson, Tom Carter, Arran Witheford, Matt Hardy, and Danny Pelling.
After a very successful morning of shooting, we packed up, headed back to the car for some breakfast and a relaxing day at the beach. The weather couldn’t have been better, we definitely grabbed the last few days of Summer, as we were treated to cloudless skies and a warm high 20’s temperature for the whole weekend. Whilst warm, sunny weather is great as a tourist, it generally is a photographers worst friend. Yes, I would prefer torrential rain to blazing sun. Especially in the middle of the day, it creates harsh shadows, and a huge range of white-black, generally making for bad photos and a nightmare processing job. As a result we opted to open the daytime hours relaxing on the beach, eating ice cream and drinking coffee, and reserve photography for sunrise/sunset – fine by me.
That evening we went to Chapman’s Pool, a little more than a stone’s throw from our tent, and off the tourist circuit (a necessity for Bank Holiday Weekend). The cloud rolled in a little as the sun came down, but the view really was incredible, and one of the better sunsets I’ve seen this year.
After another early start, we made our way along the coastal path to Old Harry Rocks, a location famed, (recently) for its incredible drone photography. Here I found the light even more incredible than the previous day, the alignment of the coast better suiting the location of the sun. After another enjoyable morning on the cliffs with a great bunch of people we said our goodbyes, and me and Natalie headed back to the beach for some more R+R before making our way home the following day