“South Dorset is the most beautiful constituency in the whole of the United Kingdom”
That’s according to its MP, Richard Drax, who told Parliament:
“Millions of people travel to enjoy our beautiful wild coastline because of the unspoilt view. It is one of the reasons for the world heritage designation.”
Most of those travelling to the coast carry a camera with them, but few will be taking as much care in capturing the scenery as local photographer Daniel Wretham.
Based at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, in Poole, Daniel says he has “a great passion for Dorset’s coastline“. We spoke to Daniel about his photographic love affair with the area:
“I’ve been photographing the Jurassic Coast for around 12 years. I love all of Portland but the lighthouse area is indeed my favourite. I do love early morning and late evening light, the golden hour makes everything look so beautiful but I think mornings are my favourite for that reason, no one else about ! I simply love landscapes and light falling on landscapes, but people have never interested me as a subject. Half of the love of landscapes is just being outside.”
On Daniel’s tripod at the moment is:
“a Canon EOS R mirrorless system and the RF 24-105, RF 15-35 lenses and an EF 100-400 for longer range. I’ve upgraded my gear over the years and there have been some really impressive breakthroughs in digital and mirrorless cameras. I also have two back ups, as I once lost images through a back up hardrive failure and it was heartbreaking!
But of course, it’s not all about the hardware…
“The most important bit of kit is the human eye and the way it sees its subject. I look at a scene that appeals to me then imagine it with certain conditions and keep returning till I get it, sometimes it takes years and others you get it on the first trip — luck plays a large part. In order to find the view I do a lot of walking and driving just looking for things to catch my eye, something with good foreground interest and maybe a leading line.”
For a photographer, “the rocky Jurassic coast is a dream location to live”, but Daniel’s eye is is sometimes caught by views beyond Dorset:
“Wales is fantastic to photograph, Pembrokeshire, Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, it’s like a second home to me as I spend so much time there, a really beautiful country. As for places I’ve never been, I would like to photograph the Italian Dolomite mountains more than anywhere I think.”
Luckily Dennis was in Dorset when Storm Dennis hammered the coast, back in February:
Storm Dennis was fantastic, all the weather forecasts looked poor for the sunrise so it was a great surprise when it happened, and I’m glad I made the effort to go.
We asked Daniel how he gets the smooth, rippled effect of the tumbling waves:
“The water strands are achieved by doing a long exposure as the water is running off the rock. I tend to do as minimal in post-processing as possible, the real art is to capture it in camera as best as possible so you don’t need to process.”