alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Dorset’ category

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.

To reach the shore I descended a flight of concrete steps, a type which I find always lend themselves to being photographed.

I then followed the shoreline and noticed some graffiti which had been painted on the sea wall. This country is gripped by ‘Brexit’ at the moment but I wasn’t sure if this inscription of the word ‘EURO’ was a vote in favour of leave or remain. Is the ‘Euro’ invading the UK or to be washed away by the incoming tide? I think it could be interpreted both ways depending upon your point of view.

Further along the coast and at the end of the sea wall, pebbles had been placed in wire cages and made quite an interesting geometric design.

Walking back to the car I couldn’t help but notice a rather tired looking door in a Portland stone wall. Helpfully the owner had painted the word ‘Garage’ at its entrance, I guess to deter others from parking in front of it. This I understand although it always amuses me when people do this, however photographically the inscription made the image.

I could have spent more time wandering around the Cove and Chiswell itself. The pleasure of taking photographs is not necessarily about making stunningly beautiful images all the time. Having a camera and taking pictures encourages your eyes to look around, to notice and perhaps photograph things which the average passer-by may or may not see……and therein lies the joy in photography – the art of seeing.

Dorset in the snow


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.


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.


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


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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Dorset – A new Gallery Page

Clavell Tower, Kimmeridge

Yesterday I posted a few of my most recent images of Dorset. You can see this post here. I soon realised that I had not created a ‘Gallery Page’ for Dorset, so this morning I have done exactly that – click here to visit this new gallery.

As a taster here are a selection of images, some of which were taken a few years ago.

I have enjoyed revisiting them and I hope you enjoy them too.

Fields of Barley


Evening Light at Purbeck


St Oswalds Bay