A couple of days ago (2nd January 2017) I went on a planned photography trip to Durdle Door in Dorset. It is a popular place, the weather was very sunny and it was a Bank Holiday. So, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise to find that a lot of people had decided to visit as well.
Landscape photographers tend to like places to themselves, and that was very definitely NOT going to happen this particular day. The large car park was full and there were dozens of cars overflowing onto the surrounding roads.
The temptation was to just turn around and go home. But I had driven for about an hour and twenty minutes to be there at that specific time for a very specific shot – the sun, at this time of year, sets in such a place that you can view it through the arch of the Durdle Door rock formation.
My hesitation was born of my fear of looking out of place – I was carrying my largest photography backpack, a full photographer’s utility belt, large tripod, camera and snacks/drinks to keep me going. I was dressed in very non-beach gear and would have stood out like a sore thumb.
In the event, I decided to just go for it. I took my courage and in my hands, through my dignity to the wind (if you can do such a think) and strode through a crowd of people to reach the spot I needed to be at for the shot that I had planned for. About twenty other people were watching the sunset through the arch with iPhones and point-and-shoot cameras in hand.
One nice chap standing next to me asked, “is this a hobby or a profession” – “bit of both”, said I.
In the event, the clear skies meant that the sunset was unspectacular – a bit of cloud is needed to add drama and colour. But every clear sky has a silver lining! Clear skies means star shots should be possible. So I took my sunset shot and stayed on for some night sky photography.
I’m glad that I stuck it out – I came away with four shots that I would say are “keepers”. If you are interested, you can see the video of the trip on my YouTube channel here:
I guess that the moral of the day is about being prepared to just be who you are. I “do photography” – I love the creativity and the technical challenge of it. Sometimes I do that on a remote mountain top in driving snow; sometimes it is in bright winter sunshine on a crowded beach.