Images D & A.
Location - Portland Bill, Dorset
Another day of great light, showers, sunlight, and thunderous clouds. It took a fair bit of driving to escape the heavy rain. One of those days when the blue sky was always in the distance. By driving west I eventually caught up with it.
The day started at Studland Beach. Many years ago, in what is now described as a gap year (or a year off in our case!) two friends and I decided to take our sleeping bags and sleep out on Studland Beach with the intention of walking the whole length at dawn. It was of cause far too cold to sleep on the sand so we found a bus shelter and spent the night there. A friendly police officer turned a blind eye to our squatting and we duly did our sunrise walk. It was a magical experience, with a pristine empty beach to ourselves. Since then its become a very popular destination. This is the first time I've been back. There was a break in the clouds for a few minutes but as you can see the sky was very threatening and I escaped back to the car just in time.
Location - Studland Beach, Dorset
The next location took a while as there was a period of heavy rain which had to be waited out and a drive towards the prevailing westerly wind. I arrived at Ringstead Bay, which despite the ludicrously expensive car park charge was a beautiful and very quiet place. The beach was stones and shingle and difficult to navigate, but worth every step.
Multi - Image Panoramic Stitch.
Location - Ringstead Bay, Dorset
After a longer drive caused by the fact that Weymouth is in the process of being dug up, presumably as its one of the sites for the 2012 Olympics, I went to the end of the Isle of Portland to a place I've always wanted to visit, Portland Bill. Portland is one of the places on the Shipping Forecast which as UK readers will know is a British Institution. Broadcast by the BBC four times a day, it tells those at sea about the prevailing weather conditions at various locations around the British Isles. There's a wonderful series of photographs by Magnum Photographer Mark Power about the mysteriously named locations. See:- http://we-english.co.uk/blog/?p=1921 Like many people who grew up listening to this fascinating piece of radio history, the names seem so strange and romantic. Rockall, Viking, Dogger Bank, German Bight. Where are these places?
The name on the forecast is just Portland, but Portland Bill is the very end of a long strip of land joined to the mainland by a causeway. It didn't disappoint. Its a rocky piece of land dominated by a huge lighthouse. Even on a benign sunny summer evening it felt very remote. I tried to imagine what it would be like on a stormy January night and shuddered at the thought.
Location - Portland Bill, Dorset
The final images of of the view over Portland and Chesil Beach. Taken in gorgeous late evening light.
Location - Portland, Dorset
Location - Portland and Chesil Beach, Dorset
This is the first time that I've been able to post images "on the road" Broadband internet access is far from commonplace in UK accommodation. Where I'm staying now is quite a rare thing, a holiday cottage with Wi-Fi. I don't understand why the UK is so slow to provide this facility. Cities are pretty well catered for, but there seems to be some notion that people who live in and visit rural areas don't want or need to have access to the web. At least thats how it appears since nobody seems to see this as a priority. As someone who earns a living via the internet, I'm constantly surprised at the lack of coverage. The UK really isn't that large and the whole country should have both full internet and mobile phone coverage. I was in the ludicrous situation recently of sitting in a bar with Wi-Fi but no mobile phone coverage. The coastal areas of this country are particularly badly served. Since a large proportion of our population spends much of the summer camped out on it, you'd think it would be something that would be addressed. There's an iPad advert with people sitting on a beach using one. Obviously not shot in the UK!!
A final word on the Olympus E-P2. A gorgeous camera to look at, but I find it very fiddly to use. In many ways the Panasonic G's are easier, the built in viewfinder is superb and the controls while still small are mostly in the right places for me. Also oddly, even though the E-P2 is constructed of metal, my plastic GH1 feels more substantial in the hand, and easier to work with. Its obviously a personal thing, but there's definitely a style over content thing going on with me and the E-P2. Still it does take a nice snap.