As part of yet another project I returned to the south coast to photograph the Clavell Tower at Kimmeridge and Corfe Castle both in Dorset with my good friend and fellow photographer Ian. We planned on camping for two days and hoped for good weather and boy were we blessed!
The journey down in two Camper vans was made all the more fun with a walkie-talkie between vehicles which meant I was able to chat about all sorts of nonsense whether Ian was listening or not…
We found our campsite brilliantly located 3 miles from both our desired locations and set up. We climbed the hill near the Castle to witness a lovely sunset that was just too clear for anything exciting but was lovely to witness nonetheless. After the sun went down we drove the short distance to Kimmeridge and walked up to the top of the cliff to watch the Milky Way rise up to our south.
I can’t describe the lovely feeling of insignificance in the darkness, the sea washing in below with the wind in your face as you gaze up and out at billions of other suns and worlds that we know virtually nothing about. This venue sums up the project really, our problems, hopes and dreams placed into context in the dark, quiet, stillness.
We took a few shots as the Milky Way’s Galactic Centre just rose above the horizon, looking out over the English Channel. It is beautiful to behold. We then climbed back down the hill and proceeded to take shots of Clavell Tower with the MW seemingly rising majestically from the top of the tower itself.
The next night we again tried some sunset shots at Corfe and again were disappointed with the lack of cloud and therefore colour. We ate our picnic tea chatting happily away before heading to our previously scoped location to shoot the MW rising next to the Castle ruins themselves.
To our increasing annoyance a slight low level mist started to hang in the air around our vantage point rendering the castle itself slightly ‘hazy’ in our shots. However, we changed our minds when we tried to light the castle with our powerful torch beam. The beams reflected in the mist creating a surreal effect that looked like the Castle itself was emitting some kind of ethereal light. The effect was enhanced by our ultra wide-angle lenses meaning a beam directed 5 feet to the right, left or above camera appeared as though they were coming from much further away adding to the intrigue of what the light actually was.
We returned to the campsite for our second night which was much colder than previously but a bottle of red soon warmed us up before a good nights rest.