A blustery weekend’s photography at the Seven Sisters

Photographers live in hope of interesting light, preferably with some good cloud formations, and a worthy subject. Well, the subject was certainly there, but the light was quite dull, and the clouds were behind me obscuring the sun. So I took the photograph more in hope than certainty. But I’ll remember the spot, and one day I will be there to photograph the cliffs bathed in gorgeous evening sunshine…

All these photos are from a photography weekend on the south coast, organised by Colin Westgate (Quest Photography – check it out), and hosted by Joe Cornish. The great thing about these weekends is that they encourage you to get out there regardless of the weather and make photographs anyway. So if the light’s poor, and the sun hiding, then that’s the time for long exposures of the waves riding up the beach.

Slow waves on the groyne

The Sunday was even colder and more miserable than the Saturday. But weirdly, it seemed better for photographs. I wonder why that it….? Perhaps the adverse conditions spur you on to look more closely for possible images. And with Colin and Joe looking on, you can’t just call it a day and disappear into the closest hostelry for a nice pint by the fireside. Photos must be taken! This one is a dinosaur’s egg (well, a stone), facing the cliffs on the beach. I was huddling around the tripod for this one, protecting it from the wind and the spray. It was chuffing cold…!

White stone egg

Eventually I retreated to the cliff and found this cave. Having set up the tripod again I was ready to take this pic when up bounds Joe, impervious to the biting cold. He climbs into the cave, and scales up the back wall to the ledge you can see in the centre of the image to photograph vertically straight down at the rocks. The unusual angle, the light falling into the image – it’s not so dramatic in my version pictured below. Ah, the man’s a master, he really is. (As soon as he’d hopped down and disappeared I was right up on that ledge copying the exact same shot. My masterpiece may be derivative, but hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! If you want to see it, have a look at my flickr page)

Cave in the chalk cliffs

Not that it was all hard work though. Here’s Colin busy studying the pebbles for a potential macro shot, once he can find his tripod…

The sun did peak through at last, so I managed one sunlit picture eventually. A nice reminder for what was a wonderfully stimulating weekend. Thanks to Colin and Joe for their words of encouragement and perceptive comments on our photos.


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