Located at the northern end of Portsmouth Harbour, Portchester
Castle was built on the site of a former Roman fort at the
sourthern most point in Portchester. The castle was believed
to have been built by a local baron at some point in the 11th
century, but was taken under royal control in 1154.
Portchester Castle was controlled by the monarchy for several
centuries and was a favoured hunting lodge of King John.
During the medievel period the castle was used as a
dismembarkation point English Kings during several military
campaigns to France, and in the last 2 centuries of it's
active life was regularly used as a gaol for POW's in the
Second Anglo-Dutch War and also the Napoleonic Wars.
Whilst Portchester Castle now is a shadow of its former self,
it isnt derelict by any means. The majority of the external
walls are fairly intact and there is a large keep at the north
west end which is open to visitors for several months of the
year, and several public events and exhibits are hosted within
the grounds throughout the summer months.
This scene was photographed from close the the entrance of
Port Solent Marina, with the intention of including much of
the shoreline as the tide was pretty low at this time. Ideally
I would have liked to use an aperture between f11 and f16 but
the weather wasnt great and the low light meant a slow shutter
speed, which is always difficult when shooting handheld. I
didn't have a tripod as we had originally gone out to shoot
wildflife at Farlington Marshes and Portchester Castle was
really a bit of an afterthought.
As I alread mentioned, the weather wasn't great and I could
not get sufficient detail in the foreshore without losing
focus. I took off my 24-105mm lens and put the 100-400mm back
on to shoot some wading birds, and decided to just fire this
one off. Somehow I had managed to set my aperture to f20, but
did squeeze off 3 bracketed shots at 1/200 of a second. These
shots were merged in Photomatix and then I employed my
painterly workflow to create the shot you see above.