Portland Bill Lighthouse, Dorset, England by Paul Newman

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Picture Story

The distinctive red and white painted Portland Bill Lighthouse lies on the English south coast at Portland Bill, on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. It stands at a height of 135 feet and was completed and commissioned in 1906 providing an important aid to mariners in the English Channel. The lighthouse was fully automated in 1996 and remains operational to this day.

A popular landmark with photographers from all over the UK, I chose a particularly challenging winters day in November 2019 to photograph the lighthouse. The constant freezing thirty-knot south-westerly wind drove intermittent rain and hail showers across the location and this gave rise to some opportunities for me to practice bad weather photography! However, it was not all doom and gloom as the prevailing conditions produced some very dramatic skies and the occasional burst of great light and it was during one of these that I managed to capture my submission here. I used a sturdy tripod low down on the ground and it was a challenge to keep it steady although using a shutter speed of 1/100 proved adequate for this shot to have acceptable sharpness. I also used a circular polariser which enriched the colours in the scene.

The location is easy to access by car and has a large car park close by and also a very good cafe and pub convenient for if you need to warm up.

In my view, Portland Bill Lighthouse is a recommended landscape photography location at any time of the year, day or night and can produce some highly agreeable images.

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