Capturing the Jurassic Crash

The Story Behind the Image

In 2017 we moved to England due to the nature of my job. We looked forward to exploring the historical sites and landscape of the United Kingdom and couldn't wait to start the adventure. With only a rental car and still waiting on our house to be ready for us to move in, we embarked on our adventure to explore the Jurassic Coast that lies on the southernmost shoreline of the island. This journey allowed us to see how different road trips were going to be in England from that of the United States. Three hours later and only 131 miles away, we finally arrived at the Jurassic Coast.

We first visited Durdle Door, which was the planned location for my photograph. While Durdle Door is a beautiful location, and I intend on getting a photograph of the location before we move back to the United States, this just was not the day to capture the location of Durdle Door as the lighting wasn't what I was looking for and there were people everywhere. You see, I like to have a dramatic feel in my photos and lighting plays a big part in that.

Traveling a little further down the coastline we came upon the Isle of Portland. A beautiful and quiet island with amazing features. The sun was setting and I was hoping for some colors in the sky as all-day had been white skies and dull colors. Something that I would find out later that I was going to have to get used to while living in England. Katie, my wife, started looking up places to see on the island and she found this location, Pulpit Rock. We parked the car and started walking quickly to Pulpit Rock because I wanted to be all set up before the sun started to set. Making sure that I'm set up before the golden hour, the ~30 plus minutes before sunset, would allow me to have my frame in focus and compensation just right. Not getting to a location early enough would cause me to rush the photo and possibly lose the ideal shot.

We make it to Pulpit Rock and I set up. Everything is going perfectly and I was the only one waiting for the golden hour. I was surprised not to see any other photographers there and maybe I thought too soon. As I'm sitting there, tripod and camera all set, other photographers started to show up. One photographer set up directly in front of my camera and now all I could capture was the back of his head. Not a good first impression of English photographers I must say. While I looked around to decide if I was going to confront this photographer, I saw that there were about six other photographers that were photographing the same scene. I don't like to be like everyone else, so my creative juices started to flow. I walked to the edge of where we all set up and looked down to find this nice landing jutting our from the cliff about five feet down. So with wondering how I was going to get back up I decided to grab my gear and take the leap down five feet onto the ledge.

The light is starting to turn and the colors started to become amazing. I'm trying to get set up as quickly as possible to not miss a moment. There goes my goal of being set up before the golden hour I thought to myself. "No worries, I got this," I told myself in reassurance. I get everything all set and go to take my first image and now a photographer has climbed up on top of the Pulpit Rock, right dab in the center of my frame. He was setting up to take a photo out over the ocean and again, the first impression of English photographers was not a good one. This is the second photographer that got in my shot and now this guy was in all of our shots. Thank goodness he wasn't there for long. He took his photo and climbed down, thank goodness I thought.

The colors in the sky were also helping to enhance the color of the ocean as well. I loved the leading line of the cliffside that brings the eye up to Pulpit Rock while having the waves crashing on it. The crashing of the waves and the ocean water flowing back into the ocean just gave this scene that extra little touch. I didn't want to stop the water in mid-air so I slowed my shutter speed down to 1/10 of a sec to capture the movement and give it the dramatic feel I was looking for. I was and still am incredibly happy with this photography and Jurassic Crash is one of my favorite photos to this day.

Jurassic Crash available for purchase at

© Kody Allen
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