Sark, Channel Islands

Surrounded by stunning coastline, this small but beautiful island is full of excellent subjects to shoot, as Phil Malpas, Clive Minnitt and three photographers discover

Clive and I are delighted to bring you this monthOn location feature from the small Channel Island paradise —the of Sark’.

The island is famous for the fact that no cars are allowed and the only forms of transport are tractor, horse and cart, bicycle or the good old reliable ’pony’. Clive and I were on the island for nine days in total and Ipretty sure we walked over 50 miles during our visit.

In a slight departure from the norm, and as we were running a week-long photography workshop for Light & Land, we allowed all our clients to pick their favourite images from the whole week. We then held a spectacular slideshow on our last night and Clive and I chose our three favourites for inclusion in this article. So, congratulations to Dave, Greg and Kate for their selection, and commiserations to all the others who missed out. The overall standard of work was excellent and making a selection was a really difficult, yet enjoyable, task.

From the superb Stocks Hotel, which sits in a central position on the island, we had a great base for walking out in whichever direction looked the most promising. This was particularly useful on windy days when we were able to find shelter on the appropriate side of the island. During our visit we spent time at all four compass points, most of the beaches and many of the precipitous headlands that offer great views of the coastal scenery. We were also visiting during Fortnight’and the woodlands, hedgerows and fields were abundant with colourful flora.

The weather during our stay was certainly interesting, ranging from strong winds gusting up to 60mph one day to virtually still conditions the next. Heavy showers, sunshine and some of the most spectacular seas and skies you could wish for offered us a great variety of lighting situations to make the most of. Our week began with a 5am start to photograph dawn in the wonderful Dixcart Bay where crashing waves, a high spring tide and some lovely cloud got us all excited, despite the odd boot full of seawater!

Our days were spent wandering the leafy lanes, climbing the steep(ish) cliff paths and chatting to the locals about their lives on the island. We would arrive back at the hotel at the end of the day, pleasantly exhausted and excited to see our results on the big screen.

Dave, Kate and Greg each produced an excellent set of images, which are a fantastic advert for the photographic opportunities on this wonderful island. I am already looking forward to going back to Sark in 2013 for another great week of photography, just a 30-minute plane ride from Southampton.

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