Dorset Scouser on Night Sky Photography and Astrotourism at Durdle Door26 Apr 2021
Following on from the interest in our previous blog Astro Tourism at Durdle Door: Night Photography and Stargazing, we asked night sky photography expert Dorset Scouser Photography to provide some insight into creating images like his famous shots (be sure to check out his incredible website for more photos!) including some handy tips for visiting Durdle Door for night sky photography.
“I have had the immense pleasure of photographing the night skies of Dorset for a number of years. Our county is blessed with not only very good dark skies, but beautiful landmarks within them. Possibly most famous of all is Durdle Door, and the nearby Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole. These geological gems are highlights of the south coast of England, and fall within some of the darkest skies in the county.
The thrill of astrophotography is unmatched. With well-conducted research and planning, a landscape photographer can achieve incredible results with fairly standard photographic equipment. The technology going into modern dSLR, mirrorless, and even some compact cameras makes photographing the stars easier than ever.
Durdle Door has always been a favourite location of mine. Not only is the rock arch so familiar to many, but it’s position on the south coast means it is ideal for photographing the Milky Way throughout the period in which it is visible, generally between April and October. Earlier in the year, the Milky Way rises in the east, late in the night, allowing for dramatic shots along the beach looking towards Durdle Door. Later in the year, the Milky Way rises in the south, meaning you can get up close and personal with the structure. In the autumn, it traverses more towards the West, presenting opportunities to photograph it with Swyre Head, Weymouth and Portland in the distance.
What’s more, the facilities at Durdle Door are pretty much unrivalled. For the novice astrophotographer visiting Dorset for the first time, the Durdle Door Holiday Park is ideally placed, being a relative stone’s throw from the beach.
My three top tips for photographing Durdle Door are:
- Research, plan and walk the route beforehand. There’s nothing worse than having to navigate a new route in the pitch dark, so being acutely aware of any risks or obstacles beforehand is paramount to the success of any astrophotography shoot, and especially one on the coast.
- Stay local! The Durdle Door Holiday Park is ideally placed for anyone visiting the area with an interest in astrophotography, and the fantastic landmarks of Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole are within walking distance too!
- Be mindful of others. In the summer particularly, the beach at Durdle Door can get quite busy with other photographers, and it is worth bearing in mind that they are there to get photographs as well. Consider turning off your torch (if it is safe to do so) and communicating with other photographers on the beach so that you can all enjoy (and capture) the wonders of the night sky above one of Dorset’s most famous landmarks”
Why not try out these tips for yourself? Tag us in any night sky photography on instagram @durdle_door and we’ll share our favourites!