Dungeness is, in a word, breathtaking. Normally that word is reserved for a stunning sunset over an idyllic landscape, whilst Dungeness’s charms lie in very different areas its beauty is no less striking. Like many until recently I’d never heard of Dungeness, I read an article by the fantastic Lee Frost where he’d displayed some of his work from his latest trip to this mystic location and was instantly hooked. With a haunting back drop that cries out for black and white photography, Dungeness is full of character and an unnerving sense that you shouldn’t really be there. Located in southern Kent adjacent to a nuclear power station Dungeness beach certainly doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of many tourist attractions, with long stretches of unpopulated shingle beach and intermittent pre fabricated housing that all add to the surreal and spooky nature of the place. The main shingle beach which is officially classed as Britain’s only desert, is home to numerous abandoned and dilapidated buildings, coupled with a seemingly never-ending supply of boat skeletons and rusty machinery, the whole place is a treasure trove of photography.
Normally overcast conditions aren’t the best start to any days photography, but for Dungeness this couldn’t be more perfect. Black and white moody shots seem to suit the area, they enhance the eery and desolate feel of all the abandoned buildings and equipment. Kit wise throughout the whole day I only used a 10-20mm wide-angle lens with a ND1000 filter and 40mm Micro lens for some close-ups of the rusty machinery. With two lighthouses in close proximity, a beautifully crafted walkway to the beach, multiple run down shacks, rusty machinery, boat carcases and acoustic mirror’s used in world war II, there seems to be an endless supply of photographic subjects to suit any particular interest, not to mention its one of the countries largest nature reserves housing thousands of different variations of plant life.
Need more reason to go? OK. Well being on the coast Dungeness boasts some quite stunning astrophotography opportunities if that takes your fancy, the nuclear power station can supply some interesting colours due to the light pollution which can really enrich your images. Between June – July the milky way is even visible in all its glory, sadly in January when I first visited it wasn’t visible but the stars and boat skeletons still provided enough visual interest for me to dip my toe into the astrophotography world.
Even locations I’ve been to and enjoyed very much, I usual feel that I’ve taken enough images and probably don’t need to return to all of them, Dungeness on the other hand, I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface and will certainly be re-visiting more than once.
Please see the album for all the photos.