Translate the essential qualities of being a successful landscape photographer into 'life' and you'll be sure to win. Never ever give up, despite the gloomiest skies you just never know what is around the corner....
Yesterday was claimed to be the hottest day of the year.... and so it seemed when leaving sunny Berkshire in 30+ degrees of heat. Some 150 miles later, I find myself sitting in a deserted pub looking out onto the darkest of skies. The type where the grey sky blends into the grey sea and all becomes one. Still, at this point there are three hours until sunset and the local catch of the day is to be eaten. I'm still optimistic. By the time I have wrestled with the very impressive yet stubborn crab an hour has passed and the band of light that lingered on the horizon has now pretty much disappeared. Optimism somewhat dented but still alive.
There is still an hour and a half until sunset at 8:10 and things are looking dull as the rain starts to fall and I'm definitely not dressed for success. ALWAYS check the weather forecast!!!
Last time I was in Portland Bill just before Christmas of last year I had captured the lighthouse in quite testing conditions so the opportunity for scoping out the surrounding area was limited. On this trip I was hoping to explore and ultimately shoot Pulpit Rock at sunset. Although not ideal photographic weather at this point it was pleasant enough to wander around and earmark the best sunset spot, should the sun come out to play later. It was all a lot closer in proximity than first anticipated so all that was left to do was wait... and climb!
Ten minutes later the rain had stopped at there was a slither of light shining through, enough to gear up again and climb down to the rock for a chance shot. It was just nice, a little orange glow where the sun was desperately trying to break through the band of clouds. Time-lapse, selfies and a couple of images caught - and genuinely feeling delighted that I had not just driven all this way for a crab dinner - despite my levels of commitment to food, this would have be a little OTT.
Now, for the magic. Time and time again this phenomenon takes me by surprise. Sunset time is done, the colour fades and it's time to leave BUT wait. There is roughly a ten minute window post sunset-time where you often get an explosion of colour into the surrounding clouds. It is amazing and blows me away every single time. Last night I could be heard stating 'I think this rates on my top 10 of most impressive sunsets'. Perhaps not in terms of location but wow that sky - camera or no camera - what a way to see the day end!
Thank-you to my ever faithful photo companion, Peter, for the shots and company :)