When God created the world, on the sixth day just after molding man from some earth he found some dirt under his finger nail. Upon removing the dirt he flicked it towards the South East coast and created....Dungeness.

This was the first time I had heard about Dungeness some 18 years ago when I was spending my college summer in Kent. My girlfriend at the time had invited me to spend the summer at her families home in Ashford. It would be wonderful rolling in the cornfields and swimming in the rivers of the garden of England. Little did I know I would be put to work on her fathers farm digging drainage for the lower field, herding sheep and driving tractors without a clue on how to stop them...
I had been given access to a car, a red mini metro known as the tomato which was actually so I could drive to my night job as a waiter (never worked so hard in my life). But this precious tomato was to be my escape as I headed for Dungeness one sunny afternoon in August when I was supposed to be mucking out the barn..
A lot of my photography back then consisted of very little landscape photography, although the interest was always there. I had been experimenting with Kodak infrared film, (you young ones won't even know what that is), so where better to finish off my roll than the forgotten land of Dungeness....
As I crossed the mini train track (I remember mini railways where all the rage once, but why?) I was surrounded by sea breeze and humble shacks. There were old washed up fishing boats on the gravel beach along side rusty anchors and heaps of trawlers nets. A photographers paradise for sure... I drove as far as the old black and white striped light house, did a five point turn and headed back towards Kent unimpressed and in a bit of a mood. It was such a disappointment for this young punk who fancied himself as a photographer. But the thought of Dungeness never left me, It occupied my mind while I fed the cows and galloped across the fields on a black stallion (not really). I couldn't get the place out of my mind for some reason. And so one week later I returned to the land of Gods fingernail dirt. Maybe it was the light that day, maybe it was my breakfast, but something clicked and I fell in love, not only with Dungeness, but with Landscape photography. The fact that my roll of infrared film was fogged didn't matter and I visited the Dungen another four times before leaving the farm and starting back at college.
Today Dungeness is much the same as it was all those years ago although the locals seem to be a little less tolerant of people photographing the nearby land (well you moved there!) and it may have become a little trendy with all its fancy big black Chelsea tractors. But the atmosphere is still there and its well worth a visit (perhaps not in the winter).

Over the years I have made a point of taking a trip to The Ness whenever I get a new camera and yesterday was no exception, you may have seen me there wielding a almighty 6/17 panoramic and swearing at people getting in my view (not hard with such a wide format).
It may be popular (too popular), and there may be images of this quirky hole all over the place, but theres a reason for that. Its one of the few places you can park pretty much anywhere, walk pretty much anywhere, and, photograph pretty much anything. Something which is a bit of a rarity in the UK these days..

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