mstansfield
mstansfield

Durdle Door



Durdle Door is probably one of the most recognizable beaches in the UK, primarily because of its natural rock arch. This part of the coastline is surreal and be...
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Durdle Door is probably one of the most recognizable beaches in the UK, primarily because of its natural rock arch. This part of the coastline is surreal and beautiful, which unfortunately my pictures can’t really do justice too.
Asides from the striking beauty of this place, what really surprised me was the amount of photographers that were out shooting. I arrived around midnight and photographed till 3am, and throughout that time, there was around 20 photographers on the beach and surrounded cliffs taking pictures. Normally I wont see a soul anywhere when shooting around Cornwall, so it made a nice change to be able to share stories and advice while waiting for the exposures.
This picture is one out of five compositions I captured from the trip. I wanted to show a sense of the atmosphere and beauty of the locations. I was also fortunate enough to witness an amazing light display from Noctilucent Clouds just before the first light of dawn. I have never seen anything quite like it before, but it was certainly one of the highlights of the trip!
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Wide Angle In Nature Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Sweeping Landscapes Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Night And Rule Of Thirds Photo Contest
Featured
Contest Finalist in Nightscapes Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in From Afar: Landscapes Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Nature By Night Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in The Outdoors Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Landscapes 101 Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Big Sky Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 1
Contest Finalist in Trey Ratcliffs Put Your Best Foot Forward Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Photographer Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 12
Editor's Choice
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Peer Award
Superb Composition
Absolute Masterpiece
Top Choice
Lozza0110 ShurikShurik Kosmotheoros frankloprano rebekkafriis Jsargephoto ganeshpangu +87
Outstanding Creativity
spportster kvroberts1 Blue-Maddness LastScenePhotography Moses1111 yanntoso brijeshsingh +50
Magnificent Capture
brianfulin Burnettj TGracie steveangelakis photolover96 carlymcfadden mlaff0842 +36
Superior Skill
2001vermont Bold4birds Ivar-Ola becciboo loved2030 anthonymannion adrianwhitfield +31
Love it
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All Star
Ruann jerseybrat611 sunnycloud hayleyannspurrier Alyssajprez Argentiere Dave_Bomb +13
Genius
trishposeidon mrspaulding joshsmithphotography
Virtuoso
akphotographystudio

Submitted to Photo Contests

Top ClassTM

Change Of Seasons Photo ContestTop 10 class
Change Of Seasons Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Wonders of the World Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Wonders of the World Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 class
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Our World At Night Photo ContestTop 10 class
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Talent AwardsTop 10 class
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Wide Angle In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
Wide Angle In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Creative Landscape Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Creative Landscape Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
The Creative Landscape Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Seeking Light In Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class
Seeking Light In Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class week 2
Seeking Light In Nature Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Sweeping Landscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class
Sweeping Landscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 2
Sweeping Landscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 1
The Night Photo ContestTop 10 class
Day Or Night Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Night Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Day Or Night Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
The Night Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Day Or Night Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Night And Rule Of Thirds Photo ContestTop 10 class
Night And Rule Of Thirds Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Night And Rule Of Thirds Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 2
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 1
Worldscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class
Worldscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Worldscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Celebrating Nature Photography Day Photo Contest 2016Top 30 class
Nightscapes Photo ContestTop 30 class
Nightscapes Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
World Expeditions Photo ContestTop 10 class
World Expeditions Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
From Afar: Landscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class
Nature By Night Photo ContestTop 10 class
Nature By Night Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Outdoors Photo ContestTop 20 class
Landscapes 101 Photo ContestTop 10 class
Landscapes 101 Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Outdoors Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Big Sky Photo ContestTop 10 class
Big Sky Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Trey Ratcliffs Put Your Best Foot Forward Photo ContestTop 10 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class
Photographer Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 12Top 10 class
Photographer Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 12Top 10 class week 1

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20 Comments | Report
werol
 
werol September 16, 2015
stunning!
davidjacobs
 
davidjacobs October 02, 2015
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique. Let's get better together!
brianelzinga
 
brianelzinga October 09, 2015
I honestly cannot stop looking at this photo. To be able to capture a moment like this is amazing, even better to be able to witness this skyline. I could watch this for days. Thank you for the post. Truly inspiring.
mstansfield
mstansfield October 13, 2015
Thank you Brian, I am glad you like the picture.
almoore
 
almoore October 09, 2015
congrats on finalist
mstansfield
mstansfield October 13, 2015
Thank you Almoore, it was a nice surprise!
SchnellSabine
 
SchnellSabine October 10, 2015
Wow, what a view! nice work!
mstansfield
mstansfield October 13, 2015
Thank you Schnell
johant
 
johant October 11, 2015
Congrats to an amazing photo. I take my hat off
mstansfield
mstansfield October 13, 2015
Thank you Johant
Lightworks
 
Lightworks October 15, 2015
Excellent work. Beautifully captures the location, and the star field adds a dimension of awe and splendor. Very nicely done.
mstansfield
mstansfield October 15, 2015
Thank you Lightworks
nandicmb
 
nandicmb November 07, 2015
Congratulations on all your Awards!
mstansfield
mstansfield December 24, 2015
Thank you Nandicmb!
davidjohnmartin PRO
 
davidjohnmartin November 20, 2015
Fantastic capture, one of the best I've seen, well done ....
mstansfield
mstansfield December 24, 2015
Thank you David, your feedback is much appreciated
Theimagebanks
 
Theimagebanks December 13, 2015
Absolutely awesome!!
mstansfield
mstansfield December 24, 2015
Thank you!
Miss_G
 
Miss_G February 20, 2016
Breath taking. So much to take in..fantastic contrast and colour. Nice one :)
mstansfield
mstansfield February 26, 2016
Thank you Sarah, your comment is much appreciated!
emretuncel
 
emretuncel November 07, 2016
very nice!
Elleysian
 
Elleysian December 03, 2016
Oh! It's Durdle Door! Looks amazing!
anthonymannion PRO+
 
anthonymannion February 02, 2017
awesome
Maddigansmike
 
Maddigansmike March 12, 2017
Beautiful
duarteantunes
 
duarteantunes April 05, 2017
Great!
misterscott PRO+
 
misterscott February 20, 2018
Lovely, lovely work.
astroes
 
astroes March 05, 2018
love the moon lighting everything up. one of the best i’ve ever seen. great grab.
Weirdfish695
 
Weirdfish695 April 22, 2018
Stunning capture of the fabulous Durdle Door.
tracyhoward
 
tracyhoward May 18, 2018
What a stunning photo. The night sky above Durdle Door is just perfect.

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Behind The Lens

Location
I captured this picture at Durdle Door in Dorset. Durdle Door is a shingle beach that is famous for it natural rock arch, which attracts large wads of visitors and photographers to the area. Myself being based in Cornwall, this was quite a road trip for me that took two and a half hours of driving. Fortunately it was worth while with plenty of photography opportunities accompanied by clear skies and the beautiful Milkway.
Time
This was my favourite picture from the shoot. It involved leaving my home town of Saltash around 9pm to arrive at Durdle Door at 12 midnight. I photographed multiple locations around the beach till 4am when the first signs of morning twilight started to show. I tried to shoot at the darkest part of the night, which at this time of the year was around 11pm-3am.
Lighting
To capture the detail in the Milkyway I used a long exposure but kept it short enough to prevent the stars streaking (caused by the apparent movement of the stars due to the earths rotation). The rest of the scene was illuminated by a mixture of star light, and the near by town of Weymouth.
Equipment
I used a Canon 5D Mark III with a 18-35mm F2.8 Canon Lens. The camera was attached to a tripod via a panoramic tripod head. I also used a cable shutter release to help prevent camera shake.
Inspiration
I normally photograph around Cornwall and Devon, but occasionally will venture further afield. On this particular night there was cloud forecasted to come in from the west, so I decided it would be a good opportunity to spend the night photographing at Durdle Door and keep ahead of the cloud bank. When I arrived I was surprised by how many other photographers where night shooting at the beach, but it was nice to have company and exchange ideas and stories. There was a temptation to stay on the beach and photograph closer shots of the famous rock arch, but for this picture I opted to take a slightly different approach and capture a wider angled photograph from the cliff. It was a very atmospheric scene with the Milkyway rising above the water and the stars shinning brightly with the clear conditions.
Editing
This photograph did require a fair bit of post-processing. The picture is a panoramic and involved merging six picture taken at an upwards angle to capture the stars, and then six pictures taken at a lower angle to and capture the foreground. In essence, I used the panoramic technique to capture the scene at a wider angle then the lens would have allowed with a single capture. I also applied some minor curve adjustments and dodging and burning to add depth to the foreground cliffs. All this post-processing was done in Photoshop CC.
In my camera bag
For night shooting, I normally take my Canon 5D III, 18-13mm f2.8 lens, cable release, touch, tripod, and panoramic head. If I am shooting somewhere quite remote such as Darkmoor National Park, I would also take safety related items such as GPS, map, radio, and flares.
Feedback
I think it helps to be well prepare and knowledgeable of the location. Although this was my first time shooting at Durdle Door, I checked the weather forecast and researched the location on Google maps to identified where the Milky Way would be in relation to the angle of the beach. I also researched where I could park the car and how to access the beach and cliffs by foot. The centre of the Milkyway always rises in the southerly direction. Sometimes this can be the southwest or southeast depending on the time of the year. The best settings as a starting point to capture the Milky way would be ISO of 1600-6400, f2,8, and 30-40 second. However, every scene is slightly different so constantly reviewing your work and adjusting settings to see what works for you, is probably best practice. Focusing can also be problematic in photographing starry skies. I get around this problem by manually setting the focus ring on my lens to 'infinite'. This ensures the stars are sharply in focus. Compositional, It is also good not to concentrate to heavily on just the Milkway in your composition. I believe the best night pictures include the Milkyway as an interesting additional element to an already considered, interesting and well composed foreground. A final bit of advice is to wrap up warm, have snacks and drink packed, and just have fun with the photography and experiment!

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