• Daniel Wretham

Landscape Photography Blog, June 2021

June was always traditionally a mixed bag with conditions generally being blue sky and very little else so it was always approached with caution and venues were carefully selected to allow for this should it occur.

It was also poppy season towards the end of June, something I really enjoy but had left out for a couple of years as it had become stupidly competitive and that just really isn't my thing but a break had fuelled a desire again and I wanted to have a go this year.

My enthusiasm for landscape photography was back in full force, but the amount of time spent working was also the highest its ever been and I was finding precious little time to get out in pursuit of light and landscapes so I had to make every trip count and a keen eye was kept on the weather every day just in case something interesting developed.

Mornings were always my preferred time for landscape photography as it generally meant fewer people out, more chance of conditions like mist and I always felt the light was better in the morning for some reason but 3 am starts and then a full days work were really not an option so sunrise would be reserved for the weekends only.

I had been chasing a shot for a couple of weeks now in the evenings and every time I went the conditions looked great and would change at the last minute before sunset and when I couldn't go it always kicked off, it was very frustrating so I decided to shelf this shot for a while and go back to it when I was in a better frame of mind to tackle it.

Saturday morning was fast approaching and I fancied visiting an a favourite location that I hadn't been to for a year, Old Harry Rocks.

The forecast was for lots of high level cloud for sunrise and it looked really promising so a 3 am alarm was set and the evening spent checking the weather apps every five minutes until I eventually managed to sleep.

The banshee wail of the alarm woke me at 3 am and I was up in a flash to look outside and was met with disappointment, it was completely clear and I debated whether I should even go or not but I had moved heaven and earth to have a free morning so a decision to go was made and I headed off on the familiar drive down to Old Harry.

I arrived at the car park and it was all clear unfortunately but I headed down the winding track to Handfast point which usually takes 15 minutes or so, During this walk there was a small bit of cloud starting to form but it wasn't in front of the area I had planned to shoot, I looked at the two hero shots and it was fairly uninspiring to be fair, completely clear and just not what I had in mind for either of these shots.

I instead turned my attention to the Pinnacles area of Old Harry Rocks which was showing some potential.

There was a small bit of hugh level cloud drifting through and after watching for a few minutes it seemed that it was headed in the general direction of the Pinnacles and I thought it may well catch as the sun comes up so a gamble was taken to set up in this area.

As I waited for the sunrise the cloud started getting a bit better and was nicely floating over the pinnacles and then it started to catch and that familiar hue of pink started to form right above the Pinnacles, it was on.

I took several shots and variations of shots mixing up focal length and compositions and of course the obligatory panorama shot that I seem to just have to take nowadays such is my love for them.

The clouds looked great as they caught the colour and I was pleased that I had called it right and gone for the "Lessor" shot but caught better conditions, I looked over my shoulder at the hero shot and it really didn't look any good at all so I was again pleased I had taken the gamble.

The finished shots weren't really portfolio worthy but they were nice all the same and I had enjoyed my time at Old Harry Rocks as I always do but the light started to get a bit harsh and a truckload of tourists had turned up at 5am and to be fair my patients had reached a limit with their noise and running around making a general pain of themselves so I took myself back on the walk to the car pleased the morning had gone quite well.

A video of this shoot can be seen at the bottom of the page.

Old Harry Rocks
Mother Nature flashing her colours
Old Harry Rocks
Sunrise Over The Picnnacles (Panorama)
Old Harry Rocks
Sunrise Over The Pinnacles

The following week was awash with high pressure and clear sky forecasts so it didn't look too promising to be fair which as it turned out was a blessing as I got stuck working each evening trying to keep up with the relentless barrage of work that just refused to stop coming.</