Photo of the Day – 30 October 2016: View from the Pulpit

Posted on 16th November 2016 by Admin under Location, Photograph, Software, Technique
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Climber atop Pulpit Rock

View from the Pulpit
(Click on the image for a larger version)


A trip to Portland Bill, which is situated at the tip of Dorset, for the sunset yielded mixed results.  After a dull start to the day, it had turned into a fine afternoon.  The sun was shining, but I could see a bank of cloud on the horizon towards which it was heading.  Something which is not uncommon in my experience.  I had been hoping that the setting sun would illuminate the rocks, including Pulpit Rock, along the headland.  Unfortunately there was too much cloud for that to happen.  I needed a change of plan.

Pulpit Rock is a well known formation, rising as it does from a rock ledge.  Perhaps it would provide some foreground interest for the sunset?  There is a notice on the rock which states that climbing it is at one’s own risk.  Being a Sunday afternoon, there were a lot of people around, but surely no one would so foolish as to go up it.  Wrong.  While I was watching, someone ascended it.  Soon there was quite a procession, but it was not what I wanted.  Then, there was a stroke of luck.  One of the climbers turned towards the setting sun and I had my shot.

Initially I thought that the rock could be left as a silhouette.  It looked OK on the camera’s LCD, but viewed on screen it was readily apparent that it occupied too great an area of the image.   There was too much to be left devoid of detail.  I did, though, want the figure to be in shadow.  Some light had fallen on the rock.  Mainly using Lightroom’s Radial Filters and the Shadow control, I teased out just sufficient to maintain interest without looking at odds with the climber.

As frequently seems to happen, serendipity had taken a hand with my photography.  Having denied me my planned shot, it promptly presented another.  The late afternoon on the rocks is a good shot, but one which has been done many times before.  Fate’s intervention presented me with something more unusual.  Just the rock against the sky would not have been that interesting.  The figure on top completes the image.

The shot below shows the rock after the sun had set, but whilst some colour still remained in the sky.  Actually, the colours look better than in my selected shot.  Unfortunately, by that time no one was climbing the rock……


Pulpiot Rock at dusk

Pulpit Rock After Sunset
(Click on the image for a larger version)


This post is part of my occasional “Photo of the Day” series when I publish any shots which I think might be of interest and tell the story behind them.  They might not necessarily be portfolio standard images, nor the final version, but still be of sufficient interest for inclusion in my blog.  If I do not show a shot on any given day, it does not mean that I did not take any photographs, just that I did not get anything worthwhile.  For me, that is part of the fun of photography, not knowing what you will find on a shoot when nothing is planned.

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