I have been a frequent visitor to Dungeness for many years and have always enjoyed photographing this unique place. On the headland of the south part of Romney Marsh, the vast shingle beach is dominated by two nuclear power stations.
With its sea-worn structures, boat skeletons and abandoned machinery it is a rich visual environment. There are small wooden houses; mainly homes to local fisherman and escapees from the rat race. One is Prospect Cottage, once owned by the late artist and film director Derek Jarman. It also has its own particular flora and fauna, and is home to an important RSPB reserve.
There is always something here to photograph, in fact because of its position at the end of a peninsula jutting into the sea, the weather can change quickly and bring dramatic skies. This is why I have all my equipment readily to hand, so I can adjust the planned photoshoot to meet the unpredictable and changing conditions.
The Derelict Boat
This might seem strange but over the years both I and other photographers have become quite attached to this old, beyond-repair fishing vessel and I was heart-broken when it was recently reduced to cinders by fire. Gone in an instant are its beautiful, graceful lines, its lovely patinas, and its calling out of it’s own fate; land-locked as the beach had grown eastwards into the distance, listing like its lingering memories towards the water and with its own derelict railway calling ‘end of the line’ to the keen observer’s eye.
A clinker-clad skeleton before, and mere ashes now, but in her form you could see her alive at work on the seas, and how fabulous she must have looked to her owners proud eyes; all that is left is the tear in mine.
I feel that including the railway lines and the old hut in the distance tells a story a working environment and harsh conditions, but also of life that has come to an end.
This was also brought to life by using long exposure (15 stop ND filter), which added movement to an otherwise static.
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