alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts tagged ‘lighthouse’

Portland Bill Lighthouse with the Leica M9-P

portland-bill-lighthouse

Although we are frequent visitors to Dorset we have never visited the Isle of Portland before, well until this week. Portland is approached from the town of Weymouth and strictly speaking it’s not an island, as it can be reached by road over a causeway from Chesil Beach. Only four miles long by one and a half miles wide, Portland juts out into the English channel and is very exposed to the elements.

At its southern most point lies Portland Bill with its prominent lighthouse which is virtually surrounded by old quarry workings of Portland Stone. This famous building material has been mined since Roman times, and from the early 17th Century was shipped to London for the construction of many buildings. St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and The Bank of England to name but a few.

Portland has three lighthouses but only the one pictured in this post is operational. Built by Trinity House in 1906, it stands 41m tall and was automated in 1996.

As an aside and for those who like reading about cameras and processing etc, this shot was taken with a Leica M9-P and 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens. The M9 was Leica’s first full frame digital rangefinder camera and was introduced back in 2009, so is now some 8 years old. Superceded by the M240 in 2013, which only this week has been replaced by the new Leica M10. A remarkable camera I’m sure and whilst technology has moved on considerably since the M9 first appeared on the scene, it still performs extremely well. Of course it is not as advanced and has its limitations in use, but the image quality is still outstanding. The image was processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex.

Happisburgh Lighthouse on the Norfolk coast

happisburgh-lighthouse

Happisburgh Lighthouse

 

Happisburgh Lighthouse (pronounced ‘Haze-bruh’) is the oldest working light in East Anglia and the only one in Great Britain which is independently run and maintained through voluntary contributions. Built in 1790 and originally one of a pair, the lighthouse is 85ft tall and the lantern is 134ft above sea level. It overlooks the dramatic North Sea coastline which is constantly under threat from coastal erosion, and to this day threatens many seaside homes.

Interestingly the lighthouse was painted in bands in 1884 after the second lighthouse was demolished in the previous year. This was to distinguish the Happisburgh lighthouse from the tower at Winterton, a short distance along the coast.

Having enjoyed a good late afternoon walk along the beach, I drove from the car park back towards the centre of the village before turning into the lane which leads to the lighthouse. I was keen to see whether or not there was a good view with setting sun behind me. Standing proud on the hill, with the low angled sun light illuminating the field in the foreground, I was able to capture this image. I couldn’t have been more fortunate with the cloudscape, which provides a lovely backdrop to the main event.