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A Portal In Time

A Portal In Time
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul Haynes (PaulH) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-09-06
Categories: Seascape
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma 10-20mm / F 4-5,6 DC EX HSM, CP + ND grad
Exposure: f/18.0, 1/3 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Joe's Favourites 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-24 2:14
Viewed: 3522
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello Everyone,

this is the well known and very much photographed Limestone Arch of Durdle Door.

This particular image, and this particular wave breaking in the foreground here, holds a certain, uncomfortable poingancy for me. I have posted a few shots recently of an early morning jaunt i took here with some friends, during a very stormy sunrise.
This spot, although now on a well trodden path, still requires a good 30 minute walk to get to, up and down a large hill that seperates it the from the Lulworth Cove car park, about 2 miles away to the east.

So, I was sat here, tripod between my legs, trying to get a low POV, when this freak wave surged up the shingle, over my feet, up my legs and finally subsided when it had reached my waste. Needless to say my camera was rapidly held aloft above my head in a panic, as my two friends stood around in fits of laughter watching me basically sat, fully clothed in a freezing and stormy September sea, at 7.30 in the morning... the worst part was the walk back to the car though, as sand and tiny bits of gravel and shell that had been washed up my trousers by the attacking wave started to reveal themselves in places i'd really rather they weren't.

I did, however, manage to miraculously get this shot a split second before i was submerged. How, i don't know, but here it is anyway...

Durdle Door, in popular Culture:

Several music videos have been filmed at Durdle Door, including parts of Tears for Fears' Shout, Cliff Richard's 1990 Christmas number one Saviour's Day, Billy Ocean's Loverboy and Bruce Dickinson's Tears of the Dragon.

The artwork inside the lyric booklet for Pink Floyd's The Division Bell includes a scene photographed at Durdle Door.

In Nanny McPhee, the children go for a picnic on the beach at Durdle Door.

Scenes from the film Wilde (1997) starring Stephen Fry were shot here.

Thanks for looking...

horia, jconceicao, rcrick, haraprasan, eqshannon, pilonm, techranger, Miss_Piggy, Adanac, SelenE, Janice, dougsphotos, iris, gracious, vanderschelden, SunToucher has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Our Planetingridshaul 1 12-30 23:25
To dougsphotos: Hello mate!PaulH 1 09-26 07:04
To horia: neighboursPaulH 6 09-24 05:57
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Paul,

perfecet shot. Harmony of atmosphere, colours, lightning. Great atmosphere. Very well done. tfs. Steve

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-09-24 2:22]
  • [+]

Hi neighbor :)

Hahaha...now i know it's not kind to laugh...but that is one funny story!!!
Miraculously or not - how you managed to get this shot - it's a true beauty, mate! Yes, the door is superb and commands respect, the sky is lovely and the contrast between its blue and the nice clouds is great, but the fact of the matter is that i simply love the FG! Those textures: the tiny little colorful stones opposed by the flowing water - look outstanding and attract so much attention. To be exact, they don't attract attention in the way that it focuses your eye right on them just as you open the shot, but once you past by them, they just make your eyes cling on them until you managed to analyze all the colors, the finest details...and that takes a while :)
Anyway, that's what makes the shot really special if you ask me.
Sure, the composition with such a FG and the Durdle door in the BG could only turn out splendidly, too.
Top job, my friend!


Hello Paul,

Great work.
Fantastic photo with beautiful colours.
Excellent composition.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-24 2:32]

That truly is stunning Paul!!
The FG is exceptional!
The amount of detail and the clarity in this shot is immense.
I love the blurred sea, vibrent rich colours and the texture in the FG and door.
Very good composition.
Probably one of your best yet and straight into my favs.

VERY well done mate!!


Hi Paul,

At work at the moment but just had to stop by and say stunning, colours dof lighting everything perfect, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

Well, we have a saying in Turkish Paul, "you can't catch a fish if your pants stay dry"! You got wet but at the same time captured a unique scene miraculously. The longish exposure time gave the advancing wave a silky texture and the natural gate in the BG looks as intimidating as ever. TFS and cheers my friend...

Hi Paul!

Great adventure! May I laugh a little bit, too? I imagine the scenery... Well, that's the risk of nature photography! At least, you brought a marvellous picture home, you are not hurt and the camera is ok, too. Oh, and you certainly made a good action that day: your buddies had something to laugh!

Kind regards


Hi Paul,
Another beautiful creation very well presented by your professional eyes. Very well composed and lovely colors. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Paul,
Long exposure is sometimes making the views magical like yours, good POV, depth and light control, very well done..

It is an excellent frame of reference... The "Diggers" of the 1960's at Haight Ashbury use to carry a door frame with them and leaned it against teh tree in Golden Gate Park...there they gave out food to the young kids who had "dropped out" and left their homes to find "Free love" and all that...the Diggers called the door frame "A Free Frame of reference". that was because it was "portable"..and the philosophy behind it is too deep for this space...

Your portal is a fix one...but certainly one that sticks out and it would indeed change whenever you moved the slightest...by your way it changed rather than the portal changing..Very geological eh?

Hello Paul,

Hey hey!!! What a funny story! Maybe you got wet but this picture is splendid! This rock looks like our national Rocher-Percé in Gaspésie, Quebec.

1/3s. was an excellent choice to obtain this lovely effect of the water!

A very good picture with a lovely title!

Good work and TFS!


Beautifully presented Paul. Sounds like the portal wanted to bring you though... LOL. A true photographer... lost in his work. Well done and TFS.


This seascape looks rather like paited not photographed! Paul, you did a wonderful work hear, this photo is amazing! Colours, timing, exposition, composition... all these elemants really work! Nothing to add Paul, once again :>
Best regards,

Very abstract and cool, I have had a few pretty rough experiences myself while trying to capture the right shot! You've done a great job capturing this one,


A l;ovely shot. I just love the setting, what a beautiful place. Love thos colour contrasts of the golden sands at the front and the colours of sea and rocks. I also love the water effects. it all makes for a lovely shot.


Hallo Paul
Splendid image. It is indeed a feast to the eye and cannot go unnoticed. This scene is so peaceful and most relaxing to look at. You have captured the white of the waves and the rockformation with great perfection and slendour. Those colourful little stones in the foreground makes this scenery A+ and indeed a pleasure to look at.
Best regards

Hi Paul. Extremely beautiful photo. Great pov and colors and ofcourse magical shapes of the waves. So interestin note. TFS!

If you haven't already, come and see my gallery.


Hi Paul, fantastic sea view with great exposure, splendid light and colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-09-25 19:03]

Hello Paul,
Smashing image mate with beautiful colors and excellent depth of field. I can honestly tell you I have taken a few shots of scenery and thought what would Paul do. Love your work.

Hello Paul

A wonderful capture that is enhanced by the story to go along with it.
I can see the energy of the waves as it surges in.
The clarity is wonderful.
Excellent composition,I never get tired of the Durdle door.
Nicely done.


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-09-25 23:55]

Hi paul,
I missed this one. What a great photo! The effect of the slow shutter speed on the waves look so bautiful. The scenery is lovely. Very well done and TFS

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-09-26 3:42]

I'm still smiling after reading your note Paul... I just wish your friends were quick enough to have photographed you at that moment!!

But the near drowning was well worth it - especially with this photo. It's an awesome image and the low POV is spot on. Love the colours too,

Hi Paul,
What won't we do to take the perfect picture?(I hope this sentence make sense in English…) Lol, poor you, I hope you didn't catch a cold. The result is spectacular as usual! Smooth texture of the water, excellent details, lovely colors and composition make a fine and wonderful picture! Seriously, you should make a book out of your pictures, I'm sure that it could be a good seller :)! This place always reminds me of a smaller Rocher Percé like the one we have in Gaspésie, Québec :) Thanks,

Hi mate,

Just time for a quick check on TN - first for a long time (these job and pregnant wife things don't half give you a busy old life!!), spotted this - excellent story to match the excellent shot - I really love the capture of this wave fading the pebble beach away... brilliant sense of flowing time but no so blurred to render the whole sea a blurry mess - there's lovely detail in the swell around "the Door". Great work, and I hope you've dried out by now!

TFS - hope you're keeping well my friend!


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-09-27 23:21]

Dear Paul,
I can visualise the scene a split second later as this shot happened ....while it must have become a funny moment...i bet there was little jerk that your heart felt as the wave pulled at you....The motion in the wave is so well conveyed ..and as always the Durdle Door stands tall imposing ....

Most of the time, I am at a loss in your gallery, as i find majority of your shots quite appealing to my taste..at this rate i might have to open a theme in your name ... !!!!!For now, this one to my "Unforgettable Moments" ...(of which 4 of 13 are already yours!)


Hello Paul,
Perfect shot of the Arch of Durdle Door!
Thank you for the hard effect to capture this amazing shot especially on a low pov with f/18! but the result is perfect well worth the effect!
I loved it
many thanks

Hello Paul,
Excellent photo. The waves are very beautiful and you photographed the 'door' very sharp. Excellent sky colors through a well applied grad filter.
Well done

hello Paul,
his gallery is rich of natural catch
I particularly enjoyed the scenery with vertical view..very suggestive!!
compliments sERGIO

Hi Paul,
Great story! One you need to remember so you can tell it to your grand childeren. Just kidding, there are however the stories that you will remember and which are great to tell in a pub.
I love the motion of the wave in this photo. It makes the photo very dynamic. I do feel you over saturated the photo just a little. It made the color fringing along the edge of the door too present.

hee hee hee ha ha : ) What price Art?

Some wet trousers, a chilly walk, and a few bits of sand in inappropriate places is a pretty fair deal for such an image. The camera was spared... so no harm done. I can't remember who it was but when I first joined TN someone posted a fabulous shot of Durdle Door. He took it and promptly fell and busted his camera. It must be the level of the scenery that gets folks so distracted. I'm glad you snagged a great shot.

Evelynn : )

Dear Paul,
I am trawling the site for my theme "Our Planet" - and of course - it can never be complete without DURDLE DOOR!

When I first saw this very special Dorset Landmark - my first thought was - what a perfect arc to go under at low tide with a Tiger Moth... I wonder, if it was ever done?!?

When we lived in Holwell, we spent hours on this beach getting wet, while waiting for fossils to be washed up.

You have achieved a very special image, and many UK Calendars would be happy to include it! It is exactly this view one has - when sitting on the beach - sinking deeper and deeper into the little stones, as the waves are washing them away.

An excellent presentation.

Best Wishes for 2010

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