• Daniel Wretham

All Weather Photography

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

July has brought a lot of things with it, sweltering heat, Lightning & Storms, a rare instance of mist in the middle of a heatwave ! It's been a funny old month.

Lightning, Bournemouth Pier Lightning, Lightning over bournemouth pier, Dorset lightning

Rather than an instructional blog I thought I'd simply tell you about my exploits this month as it's been a strange one.

July is usually a pretty poor month for me, it's hot and usually clear and neither of which are handy for landscape photography so I tend to take a bit of time to recharge the batteries and do some much needed other things that I have been putting off for months.

That said there are usually a few summer storms floating around in July and these are what I tend to go all out for.

July started hot, not just a little bit hot but scorching hot. Hotter in fact than the long hot summer of 76 and I hadn't been out for a little while. Everyday while at work when the clouds were looking good it would get to 5 o'clock and they would disappear quick as a flash almost as if they knew the best way to frustrate a landscape photographer.

It was on such a weekend that it started to show signs of being a little different though, the heat was still there, around 30 degrees at the time and I was leaving it as late as possible in the evening to walk my dog so he could be as cool as conditions allowed.

While walking him on top of Canford Heath I noticed the Purbecks in the distance had a small amount of thick cloud very low just behind them, but nothing very exciting.

The cloud however looked as if it was getting thicker and was low enough to just be kissing the top of the Purbecks and the more I watched it the more I could see it creeping forward and over them.

It was 8.30 pm now and the Purbecks are around a 30 minute drive from me but I knew something special was about to happen so I grabbed the dog and rushed back home to get the camera and raced towards the Purbecks with the photo hound in the back wondering why his walk had been cut short so quickly.

I got to the top of the purbecks and it was thick sea mist and you couldn't see hardly anything in front of you which was not really what I wanted for a photo situation so I raced to another spot I know that sits on a large hill just in front of the Purbecks.

To get to this spot you have to climb up a hill full of ferns and brambles and because I had rushed out so quick to get here in time I was still in shorts and T-shirt rather than my usual sturdy photography clothing.

This was going to hurt and I knew it, but time wasn't on my side as the sun was going down and was very close to setting.

I raced through the path with my legs getting cut to ribbons by the brambles trying to tell myself it would be worth it by the time I got to the top.

At this point I don't mind saying, even I thought I was crazy and the photo dog looked at me with a blank expression as if to confirm the fact.

The photo dog had now made it to the top of the hill and was woofing like crazy which meant either someone was already at the top and had the same idea as me or that the fog was indeed swirling down the hill as I had hoped.

Much puffing and panting later and with legs that looked like they had been painted red I reached the top and what a site was there to greet me.

Mist, Dorset Mist, Purbecks, Purbeck Mist, Sunset Mist

The mist had started to roll down the hill like a giant waterfall and the setting sun was casting light right over it giving it beautiful colours and tones and there was no one else here which made it even sweeter.

There was still a good portion of the surrounding area which was visible but the mist was moving quickly and consuming everything in its path.