|Landscape Group Trip to the Purbeck Coast||1 February 2020|
|The Landscape Group’s latest trip saw 11 members and friends go to Purbeck for some winter coastal landscapes. The Dorset coast benefits from being photographed in the winter, for that is the time of year when the sun both rises and sets over the sea, giving low angled light illuminating the many interesting coastal features.
The forecast for dawn was for cloud and possibly rain, so a leisurely start was made from Studland at 10am. The sun was now shining strongly as the group headed up the South West Coast Path to photograph the chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks and adjacent cliffs of Handfast Point. Brilliant white chalk gleaming in the sunshine is not the easiest subject to expose correctly, but careful bracketing and merging as an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image on the computer greatly ease the task nowadays. The group spent well over an hour at this location, probably enjoying the winter sunshine as much as the photography, but eventually hunger called and we returned to Studland.
Those who had brought packed lunches then headed over the Purbeck hills to Worbarrow Bay, a dramatic bay contained within the Lulworth Army ranges and so untouched by hotels, restaurants and other typical seaside facilities. The others, perhaps with hunger calling more strongly, sought out Fish and Chips in Swanage.
At Worbarrow Bay, the main target involved a 200m trudge over the pebble beach, to reach an area of red, orange and yellow rocks, their colours enhanced by the low angled sunlight. These are Wealdan Sandstone formations which are perhaps more usually associated with Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight. The sea was also putting on a good show of spray in the stiff South Westerly breeze, challenging our photographers to ‘catch the moment’. Meanwhile, some of the Swanage Fish and Chips group had decided to go to Kimmeridge Bay instead, to photograph the angular ledges leading out to sea in a falling tide.
Both groups had hoped for a good sunset, but persistent haze out to sea meant that the sun was obscured long before it actually set. It had however been a wonderful day to photograph interesting features, and to banish the memory of so many dull and wet winter days. DG
Images: Old Harry Rocks & Sandstone Formations at Worbarrow Bay by Dave Gray