Bridport’s exceptional freelance photographer NEIL BARNES is well known for his work in the West Dorset area and with a regular market stall on Saturdays and a gallery in the Customs House in West Bay, Neil’s stunning photographs captivate locals and visitors alike.
The West Dorset Magazine asked (nicely) if Neil would review 2022 for us in pictures.
Here is Neil’s review of 2022 through pictures taken throughout the year
Having been a photographer since 1977, you might think I’d pretty much seen it all through a lens. Well, while I do capture some things that are repetitive, I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting subjects. The pictures I’ve chosen here aren’t necessarily my most popular but are my favourites both personally and professionally of the thousands taken during 2022.
The year started with a wonderful frosty sunrise over east cliff at West Bay, taken with my drone I nickname ‘Minnie’. She’s certainly given me lots of opportunities for new and different angles.
February saw the Bridport Bluetits swimming group celebrate the palindromic date of 22/2/22 by wearing tutus and they asked me to record the occasion, which gave me the opportunity to create a typical local newspaper style picture.
That month also saw a feature for this magazine of the Highland cows on Eggardon Hill, ordinarily you wouldn’t find me in the same field as cows (I find them intimidating after being chased once at St Catherine’s Chapel, Abbotsbury). Fortunately, I was with the owner of the herd Cameron Farquharson and felt quite safe amongst them. This particular animal didn’t seem bothered by this strange man firing a flashgun right under their nose trying to get a nice portrait!
Moving on to June and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee afforded some different pictures all using Minnie. Bridport’s Town Hall clock was adorned with the Union flag on its faces, a beacon was lit on Allington Hill and during some video work I was doing for the Heritage Canoe Club at West Bay, they unknowingly formed themselves into a ‘Q’ shape for Queen.
June also saw a capture of Lyme Regis and The Cobb on Midsummer’s Day evening at twilight as the lights came on.
July is a great time to get the sun setting behind Colmer’s Hill, something I’ve done many times and I was particularly pleased with this shot.
August was a great month both personally and professionally. Capturing the fireworks on West Bay Day with the moon shining on the water was a real bonus and a very popular image. I also captured the full moon as it rose over the trees on Bothenhampton Hill, but the best part was finally being able to get my daughter on to the beach at West Bay with the installation of some wheelchair-friendly mats by the town council. I had been campaigning for beach wheelchair access for eight years and was so pleased to see this.
The dry weather finally broke and I was able to complete contrasting pictures of the West Dorset Golf Club course showing the difference seven weeks apart.
Finally in December I was able to capture the unusual phenomenon of an Omega Sun setting over the sea, so called because of the Omega shape the sun creates from a layer of warm air just above the horizon refracting the light, a fitting end to the year.
Neil’s work can also be found online at