27 September 2013

On Location: Sark 2013

Those who read my blog (or follow me on Twitter, or who have looked at my website) will know that I love Sark.  Many of us have a few of those special places where our souls feel at home, and Sark is one of those places for me.

I was once asked what on earth I find to do on Sark for a week.  So I thought I'd post about a few of the fantastic photographic opportunities this small and friendly island offers.

A week on Sark is often one of mixed weather, and that was certainly the case on my recent visit. An advantage of Sark's small size is that you can always get to the lee side of the island, or the area with the best light at a given time of day.

In the case of the picture below, I went to the viewpoint at the Pilcher Monument, right in the teeth of a gale! Not the best conditions for photographing in as there was nowhere sheltered from the wind, and water was splattering on to my lens, but very exhilarating.  Given that I was on a cliff path, I did take care to ensure the wind was blowing me away from the edge...

A few days later, the weather was much calmer, and one evening the sea mist came rolling in.  I grabbed my camera bag and went rolling out to see if I could capture any atmospheric images.  These vines caught my eye as the mist made the lighting soft, and I liked the ghostly trees at the ends of the rows.

The speed at which the mist changed to fog was surprising!  Within half an hour, what had started out as wispy and atmospheric became dense and spooky.  I took this photograph from above La Coupée, and although I could hear the sea I couldn't see it.  I posted the image on Twitter, and it became the most responded to image of the trip.

A misty evening was followed by a brilliantly sunny day.  Below, the ferry 'Sark Belle' is heading towards Guernsey on a flat calm sea.

Although Sark is small, there are miles of coastal walks.  Some of them are steep, but the views are always worth it.  This was taken from the cliff path above Maseline Harbour, and shows the ferry arriving from Guernsey.

Heading north takes you across Eperquerie Common, towards Bec du Nez.  I'd heard about a Buddhist stone there, and I wanted to see if I could find it so I set out to hunt.  After a considerable amount of 'sheepdog' walking (casting back and forth and hence covering a lot of extra ground!) I found it!  

Also known as the 'Monk's Stone', it was carved in 1999 to celebrate the Millennium.  
There are lots of other rocks, big and small, for geologists and those who like looking at closer detail, shapes and patterns!  

There are also lots of plants and trees, and I enjoyed seeing them in gardens like the beautiful 
La Seigneurie Gardens, as well as along the footpaths and roadsides of the island.

Day to day life on Sark is full of interesting opportunities for a photograph:

Tractor Crossing La Coupée at Dawn

It's often worth getting up early, or waiting around late, for sunrises and sunsets...  

...and in my case, there is always the pleasure of being welcomed and spoiled by the folk at the fabulous Stocks Hotel.  After several hours out tramping with my camera gear, it's lovely to return to a little luxury - a hot bath and a (very) good meal! 

So as you can see, there is plenty to do on Sark!  

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