The Phoenix Time #42


She showed Charlotte examples of interesting compositions as they walked, and explained how photographers use light. When they came across a view of particular interest, she demonstrated with her camera how she chose the settings to use – and why. For some scenes, without explaining how she’d approach the shot, she asked Charlotte to set up her camera and tripod, and asked her to choose the composition and settings. Afterwards, each time, she talked Charlotte through her preview images and explained alternative approaches.

Again, for other shots, she taught Charlotte how to set features such as shutter speed, exposure and sensitivity. Charlotte was a quick learner and was soon using her new knowledge like an expert.


There were plenty of opportunities to photograph the stunning white cliffs along the South Western Coastal Path on their way to Lulworth Cove, where they took the chance to use the public toilets provided. Carrie then led them on a loop, firstly down to the Stair Hole and Crumple then onto the Cove itself. At the Stair Hole viewpoint, they marvelled at the easily seen classic stages of erosion, such as caves, blow-holes, arches, stacks and stumps. At the Lulworth Crumple, they saw how once flat sedimentary beds had been lifted up, tilted and twisted to form amazing patterns. 

When they got back to the Lulworth Visitor Centre, they bought a drink and made sure to visit the toilets again. Neither of them wanted to need a toilet break after dusk.

It was getting on for six before they got back to the car. Carrie reckoned that it would be at least another four hours before the bright galactic core of the Milky Way would be bright enough to be worth trying to photograph. She told Charlotte of her hopes that they might even be able to see the full arch of the Milky Way. Before that, once they’d eaten, she suggested that they scout out viewpoints for an evening’s photography.

When they set off, they still planned to return to the car following their recce, so they left most of their things in the boot. Firstly, they walked Westwards to get a clifftop view, looking slightly downwards.  Then they walked Eastwards beyond Man O’War Beach to find a spot for a sunset photo.  Afterwards, they made their way back and descended to Durdle Door Beach, where they had the usual tourist view with the arch at eye-level. They discussed tactics.

 From where they were on the beach, they’d be able to get some great shots and it would be a brilliant place from which to do their star shots. However, remembering the steepness and difficulty of the steps down to the beach, neither of them fancied making the return journey to the car in pitch-black darkness – with or without torches. They decided to take  some photos while they could, and agreed to return to the clifftop where they could head back towards Man O’War Beach in time for sunset.

Carrie’s hopes were fulfilled. There were just enough clouds that were underlit in gold but turning to shades of purple, as the Sun sank below the horizon, to create a beautiful sunset scene.

Featured Photo

I took this photo a a little more than a week ago (21/02/2021) while I was out for a walk. I’d gone to take my daily exercise a couple of miles further from home than usual. I began near the Ship Inn at Blackbrook, St Helens, Merseyside. I parked near the Ranger’s Hut and walked, initially along the Canal and then beside the stream along the woodland path to its junction with Garswood Old Road at Happy Valley, Carr Mill. I’d taken my camera and took lots of photos to show you over the next several episodes of this story. Most of them will show the path and the water beside it.

This next photograph is of Happy Valley at Carr Mill and shows the old and later overflows from Carr Mill Dam.

I used my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera with a 35 mm f/2 full-frame prime lens attached. The shutter speed was 1/100s at f/13and the ISO was 640. The shot was handheld and I post-processed my shot in Lightroom Classic.

Author: writingandphotography0531

I am a retired local government officer. At that time, I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I have previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My hobby is photography and, until recently, hillwalking in Snowdonia. I have just written my first novel, Persephone and the Photographer, published as a Kindle eBook.

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