This past Saturday saw me bounding up and down hills across the Purbecks on Discover Dorset’s Jurassic Coast Tour, fuelled by an intricately balanced cocktail of Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and Strepsils (all of which were to be taken a differing number of hours apart but somehow it can become a little confused amidst all the running about).
Discover Dorset’s owner, Tim Sanders, had offered me an out when I turned up at base at the crack of dawn. I was just getting past the cusp of man flu (more disorienting than child birth, by all accounts) and he told me I should get back to bed and we could reschedule the shoot for a later date.
“I’m a wedding photographer!”, I insisted, “Semper fi!”
Tim as it happened had been a guest at a wedding the previous day. He understood the rationale behind my resolve.
Now before I mention just how fantastic the tour turned out to be I shall, in the interests of transparency, reveal that I was commissioned to shoot publicity images for Discover Dorset’s Web site, based around their Jurassic Coast Tour, thus I’m hardly liable to say anything negative. On the other hand, mine is not a tour review Web site and it would be easy enough for me to satiate my compulsion for honesty, or at least avoiding dishonesty, by not saying anything at all (I could talk about my fondness for f-stops and passions as they pertain to ISOs instead) were it not for the fact that aside from the cacophony of flu remedies ricochetting around my body this was a supremely enjoyable day out; a fantastically well structured and delivered tour that captured and delivered the very best of the Dorset coastline.
Discover Dorset run tours along the Jurassic Coast, into Deeper Dorset, out to Stonehenge and further afield to London, Oxford, Bath and other destinations. They also offer tailor made tour packages including private hire for wedding parties. Now here’s an idea if you have friends and family from far flung places attending your Dorset based wedding; while you’re busy doing your post wedding thing why not pack them off on a Discover Dorset tour so they can see all that’s best and most beautiful about your home environment?
Approximately half of the passengers on this trip were members of a friendly extended family spanning London and Bournemouth as their homes (the London contingent were down just for the day, to join the Bournemouth contingent on the Jurassic Coast tour). Conveniently, Steve the driver and tour guide had introduced them earlier to the man whom was now pointing a camera at them from the port side bridge of the Sandbanks Ferry.
Tour guide Steve unfurls his extensive knowledge of the Jurassic coastline in front of the tour party.
Overlooking Studland Beach, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset
007, 06 and oh-five arrived on cue, 35 minutes after the second dose of Strepsils.
Svelte and stalwart in equal measure, the Discover Dorset Jurassic Coast tour bus bore our intrepid tour members hither and yon.
The Jurassic Coast presents a blend of old and new, on top of the downright pre-historic.
Looking back towards Swanage, Studland, Old Harry's Rocks, and Bournemouth & Poole from Durlston Country Park.
The Durlston Country Park Sun Map, working on pretty much the same principle as a sun dial, tells the right direction at high noon on one day per year.
Durlston Country Park offers a truly spectacular cliff top walk.
... that extends ultimately all the way to Land's End in Cornwall. Some of the tour party had to be called back by Steve, before they entered Devon.
The Post Office at Corfe Castle village, backed by one of the few hills that I didn't run up and down on this particular day.
Corfe Castle. O'er yonder.
Blown up from the inside out when captured by Oliver Cromwell's army during the English Civil War, many of the buildings in Corfe Castle village were built from stone plundered from the ruined castle.
The Formula One racer of thatched cottages.
You might be able to get a reduction based on the state of the roof.
Akin to visual Haiku? Funnily enough, just yesterday I was reviewing a student's photographic portfolio and expressed my antipathy towards photographs of castles foreground framed by leafy shrubbery :~)
Tour guide Steve presents his fossils at Kimmeridge Bay.
Our intrepid tour party forge ahead, intrepidly.
One of the tour party, a genial gentleman from Poland, photographs my name as it materialises from the sea mist.
Further manifestations of my name captured at Kimmeridge Bay.
Enjoying a commanding view of the expansive blanket of sea mist enveloping Kimmeridge Bay. It stayed sunny just a few feet above sea level though.
On the descent to Durdle Door, I counted them all out...
... our man from España ...
... our Polish ambassador ...
... a cortège of Czech school teachers ...
... did I mention that the tour was populated by a highly genial group of customers? All seemed to enjoy the day out and displayed a collectively happy and easy going attitude ...
... our erstwhile tour guide Steve safely brought up the rear, and on we descended towards Durdle Door ...
... to seek out the grandest of views ...
As a wedding photographer (Semper Fi!) one always has to have a mind to how to cope with unexpected and adverse weather conditions and thick blankets of sea mist might at times engulf a coastal church. It's easy enough though to move a bride and groom and indeed a sizeable retinue of wedding guests to an alternative location but moving the church might prove tricky! Thinking about it, moving a church would be a great deal simpler than moving Durdle Door.
Still, that's not to say the view wasn't equally as breath taking as on a clear day, just that one had to play a little more versatile on the photographic front. Here a member of our Czech contingent models Durdle Door in fine fashion.
Shot in the style of Sergio Leone (at ease).
The calorie busting ascent from Durdle Door.
No, I was not tilting the camera for effect.
The day was rounded off with a stop at the equally misty and equally spectacular Lulworth Cove.
Paracetamol. Ibuprofen. Strepsils. Unstable Cliff. Semper Fi!
You can view a larger selection of images on my Facebook business page, should you be inclined to see more :~)
Contact Bournemouth wedding photographer Phillip Allen : firstname.lastname@example.org : 07870 696248