A New Vision of The Cobb

Weather Obsession

I have to admit it, I'm obsessed with the weather.  More specifically, the weather forecast.  But what landscape photographer isn't slightly obsessed by the weather.  I'm constantly checking the forecast and looking for the best place to visit with the limited about of time that I have for my landscape photography.

After a few days of frankly terrible weather, it was going to take some pretty awful conditions to stop me heading out with the camera.   After much head scratching over the weather forecast I thought the best place to go would be The Cobb at Lyme Regis in Dorset.

It was a bit of a risk to go there given the predicted cloud cover. Either side of sunrise it was forecasting 100% cloud cover, but around sunrise itself, the cloud cover could drop to around 50%.  Combined with the direction of the rising sun, I was hoping to capture an image similar to this one I'd taken a while back.

The Cobb vs The Sea, Lyme Regis, Dorset - Nikon D750, Nikkor 16-35 mm f/4 at 22 mm, f/13, 0.6 secs at ISO 100, Lee Filters ND Grad.

Choose Life, Choose The Cobb

Before I carry on, I've just remembered that I created one of my 5 Minute Photo Adventure videos from The Cobb, so if you want to see what it looks like, then check out the video below.  You can also read the blog article for that video here.

Anyway, back to the story of my most recent visit.  When I arrived in Lyme Regis, the weather was as forecast and cloud coverage looked to be 100%.  As I walked from the car and approached The Cobb I could see that I wasn't the only photographer that high hopes for capturing a good image that morning.

As I setup my camera and took my first few shots, I suddenly changed my mind on the type of shot that I wanted.  Rather than trying to repeat the type of shot I showed you earlier, I decided the image below was the style of image I wanted to capture that morning.

A New Vision of The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset - Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35 mm f/4 at 24 mm, f/13, 30 secs at ISO 64.

The calm waters, overcast sky, the colour of the water and long exposure all add up to a very different, but still pleasing image.  Normally I like to capture the drama of the sea at The Cobb, but that morning called for something different. 

As soon as I saw the image on the back on the screen on my D850 I realised that I had been missing out on some creative compositions at this location.  I would definitely have to visit when the conditions were like this again.

After a short while, a break in the cloud started appearing in the distance, and the mood of the scene changed.  Normally I'm happy when the cloud starts breaking up, but in this instance, I wanted the cloud cover to stay at 100%!  With the gap in the cloud, the serenity and calmness of the scene was broken.

It was an interesting morning for me.  My previous visits to The Cobb had gradually embedded into my mind the type of image I should capture there.  This visit broke all that and I left with a renewed sense of excitement about returning to The Cobb on the next grey and overcast day!

Have you had a similar experience?  Have you had your perception of a favourite location changed by weather?  Let me know in the comments below.