A (mostly) Dorset 2021

A (mostly) Dorset 2021

2021 was another year where I mostly stuck to Dorset, but at least was a bit more active. With the spectre of Covid still looming, foreign trips were a big hell no from me, but I did get away to Cornwall and shot a few classic Dorset landmarks.


First off was a trip to Abbotsbury, or more precisely, a trip to a nearby hill overlooking St Catherine's Chapel, a small chapel built by monks in approximately the 14th century.

The chapel stands over Chesil beach with the Isle of Portland in the background. I went in May, so the late spring sun was just touching the chapel with the a slight haze softening Portland. The sky didn't light up spectacularly but there was a pleasing, subtle glow. My main issue with this one was deciding how to frame it. I did one (above) that took in the whole coast and sky, leaving the chapel small and isolated.

I did another cropped quite heavily to just include a bit of the beach. And my final one choice was somewhere in between. I like them all for different reasons.

The first one takes in the beauty of the rolling west Dorset countryside, the second emphasises the chapel more, whilst the last has some pleasing shapes.

Durdle Door

The rest of Summer was quiet. I don't tend to go out too much in the summer in Dorset as it can get quite busy everywhere. Particularly this location, which I've been to only a few times as it can be an absolute zoo. I went in October, out of season, and it was lovely.

Durdle Door. 8s @ f16

This shot has been done a million times, but it never fails to impress, and there's always something a little different. There was a heavy bank of cloud on this evening, but it broke up just enough as the sun was setting to light up the edges. I used a long exposure to accentuate this and to completely smooth out the choppy sea. In the far distance you can just make out a number of parked Cruise ships, that took shelter in Dorset whilst being unused due to travel restrictions. You might even make out a very faint black smudge on the edge of the water near the arch. This was a seal that had decided to take a rest on the beach! There were people on the beach so I decided to get rid of them in post to simplify the scene.

As the light started to fade I decided to jump over to the other side, where you can see Man o' War cove. Whilst not quite as expansive as the nearby Lulworth Cove, its none the less a lovely little spot, and since it was quiet I was able to stick my tripod on the narrow path without getting in anyone's way.

Man o' War Cove. 30s @ f9


In the same week, I took a trip to Tyneham, a village on the south coast that was taken over by the military in 1943, forcibly removing the residents. It has since stood as a "ghost" village.

It has been preserved ever since, with the original school house, church and a number of ruins.

Whilst historical sights are not what I would normally photograph, particularly interiors, and I didn't really have the room to set up tripods etc. I made use of the high ISO range of my camera and wide angle lens to get some interesting snapshots.


Finally, just before Christmas me and my partner headed down to Cornwall for a few days, staying in the small village of Rinsey. Just down the road from where we were staying, was Rinsey Head, and headland with a house peering over the edge of the cliff, and a number of great walks and an abandoned tin mine.

Rinsey Head. 6s @ f/14

I had to wait for the clouds to break just enough to light up the headland, and used a slow-ish shutter speed to capture the movement in the waves below.

Later in the week we visited Cape Cornwall, a distinctive bit of headland on the west coast. We climbed to the top and the wind was absolutely bonkers, so after getting our breath back and heading down, I stopped by at the remains of St Helen's Oratory, a tiny early Christian chapel located in the field next to the hill.

St Helen's Oratory, Cape Cornwall. 20s @ f16

Whilst not the most thrilling view I've ever seen, I was trying to get out of my comfort zone of the big sweeping landscapes and this little view worked quite nicely.

So that's 2021 wrapped up! Thanks for reading 😄