Last November, a friend of mine from the local camera club joined me for a day out taking photos.

We had managed to schedule a day for just making images which is always a treat and should happen more often.

We headed down to the Isle of Purbeck (Dorset) with a few loose ideas of what we were hoping to get. One of our plans was to try to locate a viewpoint to capture a good picture of Corfe Castle from.

We had hoped for nice early morning light and started to climb the East Hill which allows a view towards the rising sun (above) but unfortunately the weather was not kind and it was very cloudy with very flat light.

We knew we were not going to get a masterpiece so we thought we would explore the area around Corfe Castle village and see if we could identify the classic viewpoint where the castle is nestled between the two hills; we could always come back on another day with better light.

moving down from East Hill and going towards the cemetery we crossed a fields with a couple of interesting trees to frame the castle.

The cloud was beginning to break but we weren’t holding our breath.

After some time we agreed that the location we were looking for was not within walking distance of the village so we retreated to the car and consulted a map.

Having agreed the most likely spot was a nearby village called Kingston we headed off to try our luck.

The weather was still not helping and the promised bright skies had yet to materialise. still we found a likely location and even though the haze was fairly bad we managed to get a few images.

After driving around some more to the east of Kingston, we flt we had found a likely spot, but as it involved a fair hike with the gear, and the weather was not improving quickly enough, we resolved to head out for lunch at a the nearest pub we could find.

Lunch was lovely but my friend was having technical issues with his new lens so we thought we would head to a camera shop in Weymouth for advice.

Once we had the answers and a plan in place, the afternoon was nearly over so we decided to make a last effort, brave the strong winds, and head to Portland to see what we could find there.

We found another camera club outing there which was no surprise as it is a popular location for photography.

Rather than sitting on their tripod marks we thought we would take a look at pulpit rock, so we clambered over the cliff edges to get away from the crowds.

Pulpit Rock
Pulpit Rock at sunset

There were a lot of people moving about, in and out of shot, so I decided to use a “big stopper” type neutral density filter to allow me to take a long exposure of around 30 seconds.

That meant as long as they kept moving, the people did not register in my image. It also had the added advantage of smoothing out the action of the waves and the clouds. Shooting in RAW allowed me to develop the image first in Lightroom and then in Luminar to enhance the sunset resulting in the image above, which I felt was my best of the day.