alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Dorset’ category

A return to my favourite genre…..and it’s close to my back door.

It’s been a number of months since I posted an entry on this blog. Five months to be precise, which is a long time. I could bore you with a variety of reasons for my absence but that’s not really something I think you want to read about. (I have kept fit and well though and for that I am most grateful).

Instead I would prefer to share with you a selection of images all taken since the turn of the year. Pictures of my favourite genre, the landscape of the English countryside. Open countryside, farmland and woodland scenes.

I consider myself to be very fortunate. I love and I am inspired to photograph the beauty that is on my doorstep, which is just as well as we are living day to day through another Lockdown. This severely limits all travel except for essential reasons, and to take exercise in your local area. In fact the guidance is clear, do not leave home unless absolutely necessary.

I inted this to be the first in a series of images and blog posts. As I process and share these photographs with you I can feel a degree of excitement at the prospect of building a body of work which is harmonious in character, style and subject. I am sure it will evolve over time but as the seasons change I shall allow that to happen. Most of all I want to capture how I see the English countryside, and in particular record the raw beauty of rural scenes close to my back door.

Wherever you happen to be, stay well and keep safe.

A walk around Chesil Cove – the joy of seeing

Chesil Cove is the most southerly section of Chesil Beach. It lies at the extreme eastern end of the beach by the village of Chiswell on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. Chesil Beach forms part of the Jurassic Coast and is the largest tombolo in the UK. A remarkable natural phenomena being some 18 miles long and estimated to be made up of 180 billion pebbles. The largest pebbles, roughly the size of a fist, are to be found at Chesil Cove. The further west you go the smaller they become until they reach pea-size at Bridport.

I took a walk around Chesil Cove and I was attracted to the beach huts perched on the rising land about the cove itself. Nestled amongst boulders and below now redundant quarries, the huts are rather ramshackle. Undeniably they enjoy a wonderful view looking west along the coast and by virtue of their position are probably quite expensive to buy.

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Dorset in the snow

Snow3

The number of times we experience snow in southern England are relatively rare, although we have had two quite significant falls in the past few weeks. What perhaps is more unusual, is for me to be in the right place and have the time to make some photographs of a ‘white’ landscape which is so well suited to monochrome.

In the past few days we have had the ‘Mini Beast from the East’, a lesser version of ‘The Beast from the East’ which took place at the turn of the month. I have read this morning that ‘The Beast from the East 3’ is being forecast for Easter. I am not a great fan of this naming of weather events, but the media machine clearly benefits.

Snow1

Yesterday I was in Dorset and virtually all the roads were passable with care. I only had to turn round once where drifting snow had blocked the way ahead. I was fortunate to have good cloud cover as well. I was pleased the sun didn’t shine, as this would only have increased contrast and made setting the correct exposure even more challenging.

Snow2

I thoroughly enjoyed a cold but photographically productive few hours finding suitable locations and compositions.

Snow4

The snow simplifies the landscape. Shapes, lines, form and texture come to the fore. The snow helps to emphasise all these ingredients which are always important to a black and white photographer.

Do click on any of the images to view a larger version.

If at first you don’t succeed…..

……..then try, try, and try again.

Milton Abbey

It goes without saying that any outdoor photography is weather dependent. Sometimes the conditions are just right, and at other times they work against you.

This was very much the case during a recent workshop in Dorset with another photographer – Anthony Blake. Throughout the day it had been overcast and misty. As we approached our final destination before the sun set, we walked up a hill to the site of St Catherine’s Chapel in the hope that we would enjoy a great view of Milton Abbey through the trees. On arriving unfortunately the Abbey was nowhere to be seen. A veil of mist had descended in the valley and obscured its view. We waited a while but if anything the mist was getting worse not better.

We returned to the car and drove around looking for different viewpoint without any success. Unfortunately the light was fading fast but we decided to try one more time and return to the first location in the wishful hope that the mist might have lifted.

Much to our surprise and delight the Abbey could now be seen and you can see the result in the image above. An ethereal view of the Abbey with the mist hanging in the valley but with a clearly visible outline of the hills in the distance. I was very fortunate to capture this view…….and in doing so I couldn’t help but be reminded of the saying which I have used for the title of this post.

 

The Beech Avenue at Kingston Lacy

Beech Avenue

It’s been quite a while since the last entry on this blog. Regular readers will know that I had my first exhibition last month and I will be writing about the experience very soon. For now I thought I would share with you some images taken and made just before the exhibition took place back in the early part of November.

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