National magazine focuses in on Swanage photographers

A friendly photographic club with an emphasis on making the most of the stunning Swanage and Purbeck scenery is basking in the glory of being published in a national magazine.

The Swanage and Purbeck Photography Group already has nearly 2,500 online members, but that figure is expected to soar thanks to new exposure for some of its outstanding pictures.


A nighttime picture of Durdle Door under the Milky Way was described as a classic

A ‘classic shot of a classic view’

Seven shots have been showcased in the weekly publication Amateur Photographer, published on Tuesday 22nd August 2023, including a nighttime image of Durdle Door by Andy Lyons which involved taking one long shot for the foreground, then several separate pictures of the stars.

When everything was merged it produced what magazine experts called a ‘classic shot of a classic view, a fine example of the astrophotography genre’.

Other photographs featured in the magazine included Golden Coast by Rhonda Hoskins showing Kimmeridge Bay and Clavell Tower, which was praised for a beautiful sky, and a sense of movement in the water.

Keen photographer Jackie Lane chose to picture Old Harry from a boat with a wakeboarder in the foreground, giving her composition a great sense of scale.


A photograph of Old Harry is given a sense of scale by a wakeboarder

Taking advantage of a glorious sunrise

Rainbow by Karen Jackson is a beach moment perfectly captured, with two figures in the picture helping to tell a story, while an early dog walk by Martin Higgs was a great opportunity to take advantage of a gorgeous sunrise.

Eddystone at Swanage Railway by Richard Murgatroyd was a greatly timed capture of a steam engine pulling through the Purbeck countryside, and Lucie Aggas patiently captured a close-up shot of an emperor moth, showing off its intricate patterns.

The group’s work was submitted to the magazine by Swanage’s award winning underwater photographer Maria Munn, who said she was proud and delighted to see local work praised in a national magazine.


A ‘greatly timed capture’ of steam engine Eddystone on the Swanage Railway

A warm welcome and stunning photos

Swanage and Purbeck photography group was set up by Timothy Crabb eight years ago after he showed some of his work to friends, who suggested that he set up a Facebook group to show his images.

Timothy decided it would be great for both the local Swanage community and for visitors to be able to share their images, so set up a club which quickly earned a reputation for its warm welcome, words of encouragement and stunning photographs.

All kinds of cameras are welcome from the most technical digital single lens reflex cameras right through to smart phones – as pretty much everyone keeps a very capable camera in their pockets these days.


Patience paid off when this stunning close up of an emperor moth was captured


Taking advantage of an early dog walk to capture a stunning sunrise

Monthly discussions on camera topics

Club founder Timothy Crabb said:

“In the late spring of 2023 one of our members, Ben Williams, had travelled to Scotland to photograph the Northern light – and on the same night his colleague Owen Ralph had shot the same scene here in Swanage!

“While we can’t guarantee every occasion here, it is incredible quite how many different subjects Swanage and Dorset offer a keen photographer and it is the perfect place to practise – how many other places offer steam trains and seascapes within a short walk of each other?”

Club meetings are informal with members joining photo walks every month to local beauty spots, whether it is wildlife photography at Arne, brooding shots of Corfe Castle, the ever changing coastline around Swanage Bay, or closeup nature pictures at subtropical gardens.

Although the emphasis remains on getting outside with a camera to practise shooting all kinds of subjects, from autumn the club is also planning monthly indoor meetings.

Leading local photographers will be invited to lead monthly discussion on topics from astrophotography, landscapes, nature, and even underwater photography.


The Golden Coast was praised for its colours and composition

Plans to create a junior photo group

Club members have an incredibly diverse range of achievements – Richard Murgatroyd took part in a sunrise photography trip to Yorkshire which won him the Dalesman photographer of the year award, while Ben Williams’ pictures of wildcats led to him becoming official photographer for the international society for endangered cats.

The club’s online Facebook presence has grown to 2,400 people with members worldwide, including from many from the USA and Australia.

Some of its members’ best work was displayed in 2023 at Durlston Castle in Swanage, and discussions are underway with a Bournemouth camera group about setting up a joint display.

Plans for the future also include creating a junior group to encourage the younger members of the Purbeck community to discover their talent while learning to appreciate the local scenery.

Amateur photographer Magazine article
Amateur photographer

The national magazine featuring Swanage and Purbeck Photography Group

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