DORSET 27 – CLIFF AT WEST BAY (MONO)

 

 

Cliff at West Bay
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Immature gull on the cliffs west of West Bay; 23 Apr 2015.

Dorset’s coastal scenery is truly beautiful but, as can be seen here, some of its cliffs consist of quite loose and friable rocks – should you have scant regard for your personal safety and a yearning to be beside this bird, you could scramble out there and pull that rock apart with your bare hands!

So, beautiful as they are, these are not cliffs for climbing.  Rock falls and landslides are common, and they killed someone near here last year.  On the plus side, these rocks are often packed with fossils, and the frequent falls ensure a huge and ongoing supply of the relics of Jurassic life – ammonites, belemnites, crinoids, plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, and many more.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Underexpose EV-1 preset.
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

14 Responses to DORSET 27 – CLIFF AT WEST BAY (MONO)

  1. I think I’d rather be photographing something friable than fryable.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Haha, thanks Steve! Friable? A relic of having been a geologist I’m afraid! Adrian

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      • I wish I had your knowledge of geology. I’m sure I would have so much more of an appreciation for the rocks and formations I see but don’t understand.

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Yes, I find that knowing about geology really affects my outlook on things. On the one hand, it informs me about the rocks and formations I see, and also about the underlying reasons and causes for any landscape that I look at. And it provides explanations for global phenomena – for example, as I recall from my student days, India is moving northwards under Asia, and forcing up the land surface, and hence creating the uplifted ground of the Himalayas – and so to the recent earthquakes in Nepal, which are a result of that movement.

          But on the other hand, geology puts me very firmly in my place, making it very clear to me just how small, insignificant and short-lived I am. Because geological time is vast – I am 65 years old but the Earth is 4,500,000,000 years old – I am here for less than the blink of an eyelid on those timescales – and the Universe is older yet again. I very much value this realisation of the true scale of things. A

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          • Your comment led me to think that there’s nothing like geology to put a person in his place and time, but then I thought of astronomy as well. And now I remember Pascal: “Le silence éternel de ces espaces infinis m’effraie,” “The eternal silence of these infinite spaces makes me afraid.”

            Liked by 1 person

            • Adrian Lewis says:

              Steve, you’re absolutely right, I should have included astronomy in what I said, its right in there with geology. A few years ago a very dear friend of mine died prematurely from cancer. He was a wonderful man, a talented musician, and certainly one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. But I suppose that the imminence of death brings a clarity to the mind, a certainty of what is of interest or worthwhile – and he said that the discoveries of astronomy and space exploration were the only things that continued to impress him, the only things that really excited him and got to his imagination – and I can certainly understand that. And I like your Pascal quote very much – thank you for it! Adrian

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              • I’m sorry to hear about the early loss of your friend. I expect he would have liked, and you will like, this other quotation by Pascal, from his Pensées (Thoughts) of 1670:

                “L’homme n’est qu’un roseau, le plus faible de la nature ; mais c’est un roseau pensant. Il ne faut pas que l’univers entier s’arme pour l’écraser : une vapeur, une goutte d’eau, suffit pour le tuer. Mais, quand l’univers l’écraserait, l’homme serait encore plus noble que ce qui le tue, puisqu’il sait qu’il meurt, et l’avantage que l’univers a sur lui, l’univers n’en sait rien.”

                “Man is nothing but a reed, the weakest in nature, but he’s a thinking reed. It doesn’t take the whole universe to rise up in arms to crush him: a bit of smoke, a drop of water is enough to kill him. But even if the universe did crush him, man would be all the more noble than what killed him because he knows that he’s dying, whereas the universe knows nothing of the advantage that it has over him.”

                Liked by 1 person

  2. krikitarts says:

    I know how it feels to be on a slippery (or ragged) slope, all alone, with only more of the same in sight. I would hope, though, that all of the escape possibilities around me would not fade into near-nothingness. That’s a pretty serious vignette that you’ve settled on, if I may so venture…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      LOL!!!!!! >>>> how dare you refer to my vignette as “near-nothingness”, its much more far- somethingnesss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      You and I have had disagreements about vignettes before and, especially with overlarge dark ones, you may have had a point. But here I wanted the bird, sea and cliff to be, well, a vignette, unconnected to anything else … and so to a misty border. A

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