Visions of West Dorset with Kerrie Ann Gardner

Marshwood Vale by Kerrie Ann Gardner
Marshwood Vale

Landscape photographer and artist Kerrie Ann Gardner has captured plenty of stunning images so far this year. Yarn Magazine’s Stephen Banks popped into her Tytherleigh cottage for a chat

Bluebells at Spittles by Kerrie Ann Gardner
Bluebells at Spittles

One of the aspects which sprung out when seeing Kerrie’s images on Facebook for the first time was her superb understanding and use of light in her landscapes.

Marshwood Vale Bright Colmer's by Kerrie Ann Gardner
Marshwood Vale Bright Colmer’s

Kerrie always seems to capture that one fleeting moment — the sun rising behind Colmer’s Hill, or a sea mist rolling in over Golden Cap early in the morning. Coincidence? Not a chance! A lot of hard work goes into her images, and a lot of early starts.

Golden Cap Mist by Kerrie Ann Gardner
Golden Cap Mist

“I remember standing up on the top of Stonebarrow Hill & watching the mist slowly cascade down the face of Golden Cap one morning. My car was out of action for a while, so I had to get up very, very early in order to walk anywhere for sunrise. I was always glad I did though.

“I was soaked to my thighs in dew, freezing cold, but so happy to be watching such a beautiful scene. I think that’s why I pull myself out of bed so early. The world looks so exquisite at dawn.”

Viaduct Mist Landscape (Cannington, near Uplyme) by Kerrie Ann Gardner
Viaduct Mist Landscape (Cannington, near Uplyme)

How long have you lived in the area?
I’m originally from Bournemouth, but I’ve lived in this area since February 2013. I started in Uplyme, then went to Charmouth, and now we’re in Tytherleigh.

How long have you been photographing the landscapes of the area? How did you start out?
I’ve been taking landscape photographs since I was a teenager — a quick flick through an old photo album reveals a multitude of sunrise and sunset photos — but it wasn’t until I moved to Uplyme, when I was lucky enough to acquire a DSLR camera, that I started to get more refined shots.

I started taking photographs of this area the day I moved. I actually scheduled my moving day so I could go to Lyme Regis first and photograph the sea!

St Catherine's Chapel by Kerrie Ann Gardner
St Catherine’s Chapel

What is it about these landscapes that inspires you?
The layers. From pretty much any view point around here, be it inland or by the sea, the landscape undulates away from you in distinct stages. I love that. I also love the way that mist lingers in the vales and the sunlight plays on the sea. It’s completely enchanting.

Lamberts Castle Wood by Kerrie Ann Gardner
Lamberts Castle Wood

Where are your favourite places to photograph?
Ooh, now there’s a tricky question! West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset are so beautiful that I’m spoilt for choice. But I like to be either very high up, close to the sea or in a wood, so you’ll usually find me at places such as Pilsdon Pen, Thorncombe Beacon, Coney’s Castle or up to my knees in the surf.

What camera gear do you use to get your shots?
I use a Nikon D7000, a borrowed Manfrotto tripod and a couple of filters. I’m fortunate enough to have some lovely people in my life who have lent me certain bits of kit and I am so grateful to them for their generosity.

Cobb Sunrise by Kerrie Ann Gardner
Cobb Sunrise

Do you prefer to photograph by the coast or inland?
I like both equally and where I go completely depends on the weather. On a misty day, I tend to head inland to capture the landscape as it slowly unveils itself but on an evening when the sky looks like it might blaze I head to the coast to see the colours reflected in the waves.

‘The best camera is the one you have with you’

Do you have any advice for those wanting to start photographing landscapes in the area?
My advice would be just to go and do it. The more time you spend outside, the more chance you have of witnessing something wonderful. As for all the expensive camera gear, there’s a quote that goes: ‘The best camera is the one you have with you’, which I really agree with. If you just make sure you have a camera with you at all times, even if it’s not particularly technical, it’s amazing what you can capture.

Cobb Battering by Kerrie Ann Gardner
Cobb Battering

You can view more of Kerrie Ann Gardner’s photography on her Facebook page: ‘Kerrie Ann Gardner Illustration & Photography’, or her website: www.kerrieanngardner.co.uk

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