Knowlton Church

[image title=”Knowlton Church, Dorset” size=”medium” id=”2681″ align=”center” alt=”Knowlton Church, Dorset” ]

I always keep a list of locations that I wish to photograph, so that as I travel around it is always possible to stop off somewhere and set up a good shot. On this occasion we were travelling back home from Dorset and were on the road that passes Knowlton church. It just so happened that the time of day was perfect and better still, the light was absolutely fantastic! I could see the church in the distance and the light was glowing off it in a really nice way, so we decided to stop off.

I had been here before, so have a good idea of the layout and the fact that the church is right in the middle of an old iron age fort. The ground surrounding the church is lovely, its nice and uneven, lots of bumps and dips. It is also possible to stand at a slightly elevated position to get a good angle on the church and its surrounding landscape. I trotted up the side of one of the mounds with my heavy Lowepro and tripod tucked under one arm.

The sun was off to my left and was throwing some beautiful light off the west facing wall of the ruin. It was slightly tricky as the rest of the building was in a fair amount of shadow as was some of the ground. I couldn’t do much about that and decided that if anything, it would throw a bit of shape into the final picture which seems to have worked. If the light had been more diffuse, the result would have been very much different.

I decided initially not to use a polariser and chose to attach my 0.6 ND Grad filter, taking an exposure off the ground just to the front of the church to give me my reading. However after much deliberation, I did add the polariser to help saturate the colours more and to slow down the exposure further and bring it under control. This did the job and I ended up taking the shot above with a shutter speed of 1/3 of a second at f16. I used my Sigma 10-20 at the 20mm end.

I plan to go back in a month or so, as I could see that a lot of wildflowers are starting to come through the ground which would add some fantastic colour for a follow up shoot. Next time I will probably use a medium telephoto lens rather than my wideangle, to crop in further. It is worth pointing out that I often go back to places I love, in order to try out other ideas and come away with alternative takes on well explored scenes. Knowlton is one of these places, that I suspect not many people know about.

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