Another trip to Weymouth presented the opportunity to revisit Lyme Regis at dawn, albeit with a not too promising forecast. The media had informed me that a film crew are in the process of shooting Ammonite starring Kate Winslet. As I drove in the dark there was full cloud cover, but I noticed a brightening on the horizon.
Driving down the hill to The Cobb in the beginnings of twilight, I could see a traditional sailing vessel at anchor off the end of the harbour wall. This was an added bonus and thus made an extra quick transition from car to Cobb! Even better was that I was the only photographer there, giving me free rein to move about as I wished.
And now for the bad news, in addition to the ketch Irene, there was a far less attractive fishing boat moored nearby which would be in most of the wide shots. Excluding it from the frame from the more traditional viewpoint reduced the amount of Cobb curvature I could include.
First image from the shoot
The light changed through several phases and I was trying to create compositions that showed off the general scene and at other times trying to devise how to eliminate the fishing boat from the pictures. It’s this problem solving against the clock and trying to anticipate how the light will change so as to be ready that makes Landscape photography appeal so much to me.
One breakthrough was to get down from the top to a lower level and use the steps and curve of the Cobb as a lead-in line to Irene. This coincided with a crescendo of colour under-lighting the clouds.
Quickly back up onto the top as the sun broached the horizon whereby clouds, sea and glinting light off the stones went completely golden for a sustained period. The sun then rose into the cloud and the light colour and intensity diminished.
I learned from a member of the film crew, that luckily for me, Irene was supposed to have been alongside for filming, but there hadn’t been space.
With the light now faded, I headed back, but then decided since the tide was low, I could scramble up onto the cannon clad other harbour wall to try to combine these with the anchored ketch. The fishing vessel was hidden behind a gun barrel! Half an hour after the peak of the colour, the scene was shades of pastel colours and very serene. All in all a good innings.
The treatment in editing software for all of these pictures is essentially the same, based on the ‘Astia’ or ‘Soft’ setting for Fuji cameras, colours have been slightly subdued, not intensified and I hope you’ll agree the last image looks entirely natural and therefore indicates just how colourful the earlier lighting had been. I’ve selectively brightened & darkened some areas which weren’t possible with the Neutral Density Graduated filters I used at the time.