Dungeness- The power of nature vs nuclear power: A photowalk
Yesterday I’ve been to Dungeness, a headland on the Costa del Kent which is quite famous for a couple of things. On the good side, there is a nature reserve with great possibilities for bird-watching. On the bad side, there is a nuclear power plant. For a HDR photographer, which I like to call myself although I’m far from being a professional, Dungeness has to offer even more: Lots of derelict buildings and boats.
As a good environmentalist, or only because I can’t afford a car, I went there from Hastings by bus. It took me about 1 ½ hours with a change in Lydd. The bus driver dropped me off at the Pilot Inn, a local pub. The sheer size of the nuclear power plant was overwhelming the whole area. Well, at least at seven in the morning when it was still dark and the only lights around came from the NPP.
I started walking towards the NPP along a small road. There were only a few cottages accompanying me, one of them quite famous for its garden. The artist Derek Jarman arranged it with collected flotsam that was washed up nearby and also planted some endemic beach plants. Both are set in pebbles.
To the left of me, I saw the first derelict huts and boats on the wide shingle beach. I followed some rails that were probably used to transport the freshly-caught fish from the boats to the road. Now I was in my element shooting a couple of hundred of photos, always bracketed to 3 exposures. By this time it was of course daylight and the lights of the NPP had gone out. As the NPP was of some kind of interest with the lights on, I now lost all desire to take photos of it. I walked to the lighthouse, took a couple more shots and then went back to the bus stop. Just in time! There are only 4 buses a day.
Missing my connection in Lydd and having to wait for an hour for the next bus worked out in my favour, as the local church was open to the public and I was able to take another few good shots in there.
Back home I spent hours of processing in Photomatix Pro and Photoshop and I am really happy with the results. An overcast sky usually is quite a nightmare for photographers, but in this case, it just brought the right mood to the photos of the derelict boats and huts. And the nuclear power plant? Sod it! It is a shame that you can’t just erase it out of the frame like you can easily do it in Photoshop.
See the best photos at: http://oliverkluwephotography.zenfolio.com/kent
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