Cornwall & Wales Landscape / Seascape Photography - 2017 Highlights
At the very end of 2016, I found myself unemployed. While looking for a job, I decided there was no time like the present to make a start building towards my dream of becoming a professional landscape photographer (which often includes writing books / magazine articles and teaching - thus requiring a great depth of knowledge and large portfolio). Fully understanding that I'm at least several years away from this goal in terms of experience, I felt confident enough to dip my toe in by building a website and a social media presence to just sell my prints.
Although I now have less time to go out clicking due to working 8-5 plus every other Saturday, and actually taking (or at least processing) fewer photos per trip, I feel that I've grown and developed (pardon the pun!) as a photographer. Still, there's definitely a long way to go with more to learn and kit upgrades.
While some may not be concerned with awards, as an aspiring landscape photographer I find that they can provide feedback, inspire confidence and the possibility of exposure (pardon the pun, again!).
Winner: Falmouth Camera Club Print of the Year
RINSEY COVE SUNSET
Although a small accolade in the scheme of things, this award has given me a real confidence boost. The judge commented that he liked the choice of shutter speed to show the movement of the water, the level of detail and the choice of "pearl" paper stock.
Taken in mid January following a period of inclement weather, I hadn't been out taking photos for a while (or so it seemed to me) and I was keen to get back back out with my camera. So, when the grey clouds finally broke on a crisp January evening, I headed straight to the coast after work.
I confess that my intention was to photograph the "Wheal Prosper" engine house overlooking the cove - but with the evening light not falling on the building how I would have liked it, I ventured down to the shore.
I wandered the beach and eventually found a promising spot. As the tide advanced, the incoming waves crept further up the beach - funnelling between the rocks in-front of my spot. I waited. The tide and setting sun aligned beautifully.
I shot this with a slow shutter speed as the backwash drew the water away between the rocks to emphasise the water's movement and lead into the setting sun.
Shortlisted: Landscape Photographer of the Year
THE NIGHT SHIFT
I was delighted to discover that my shot of Falmouth Docks was shortlisted for "Urban" category of the Landscape Photographer of the Year awards run by Take a View and published by AA Publishing. Although my work wasn't commended and therefore published in the annual book, I was happy to have been noticed - and provides a goal to strive for in this year's competition.
I hadn't been out with the camera since returning from another trip to Wales. So, on the way to a friend's house one Saturday night I just had to make use of the clear night sky over Falmouth with a visit to the Docks. I may have spent a little too long on location and duly apologised to my waiting friends!
A selection of images from 2017:
Here are just a few more of my favourite images from 2017...
MENACUDDLE WELL IN AUTUMN COLOUR
I made my first visit to this historic spot just outside St Austell - and I was blessed with some golden nice evening light which picked out autumn colours. The well house seen above the waterfall is said to date back to the 15th century.
MUTED SUNSET OVER GODREVY LIGHTHOUSE
The colours in the sky over Godrevy Lighthouse were beautifully muted on this visit - with just a tinge of red in the west reflecting the setting sun to the east.
This image of Portreath's "Monkey Hut" was quite a challenge.
Taking shelter from the 60-70 mph winds in the higher "Dead Man's Hut" - I had to battle with constant spray on the lens and seawater from broken waves pouring through the hut's window.
After an hour or so, cold and wet, I came home quite happy with an image that depicts the wild sea at Portreath.
GUNWALLOE AT DUSK
Admittedly, I wasn't really on my game on this visit to Gunwalloe...
I was distracted by my first sighting of some washed up Man O'War jellyfish which I failed to get a good shot of in the waning light.
So just when the sun was setting, I turned my attention to my usual landscape / seascape photography. In my haste to find compositions, I forgot do my fundamental histogram checks as I took my shots (resulting in a slightly over-exposed blown out sky)...
Until finally realising my mistake well after the sun had set. Fortunately though, the post sunset display was well worth capturing. The colours in this shot aren't exaggerated in post editing. The lady fishing off the rocks stayed still enough during the 4 second exposure to be clear with only a little tidying up - adding a nice focal point.
STORM CLOUDS BREAKING OVER CARTER'S ROCKS
Holywell Bay on this visit provided a stunning sky over the instantly recognisable "carters rocks" and even lightening later on (after my camera batteries had died!)
TOWANROATH ENGINE HOUSE
Towanroath Engine House at Wheal Coates mine near St Agnes in Cornwall, England. Taken at sunset.
CAUSEWAY TO ST MICHAEL'S MOUNT
Here's the classic shot of the causeway leading to the mount as it emerges from the receding tide.
After a failed attempt the previous day due to cloud cover obscuring the morning sunlight, I managed to drag myself up at 5 am again for a second attempt shooting at St Michael's Mount.
Thankfully, conditions were much better! The water was so still that I decided to leave my ND filter in the bag!
Taken on the first day of a week-long trip to Wales. I visited Porthcawl early in the morning to catch the sunrise with it's purple hues. I only had about 10 minutes to capture the shot before the sun rose up to be lost behind the bank of clouds.
PORTHCAWL LIFEGUARD TOWER
Possibly due to being miles from home and wanting to make the most of my trip to Wales, I was undeterred by the less than perfect light conditions on this visit to Porthcawl (after the initial sunrise). I decided to walk from the harbour, over Coney Beach and beyond.
On the way, this abandoned lifeguard tower has to be snapped. The flat light seemed to work more effectively in monochrome - which also helped to disguise the dumped builders' rubble in amongst the rocks.
EERIE PONTSTICILL RESERVOIR
I've shot this pump house a few times before, but never while the lights were on inside. Photographed during "blue hour" just before sunrise, the bright yellow window punctuated the muted blue tones quite nicely.
WINTRY LLANGORSE LAKE
Arriving at dawn, I waited for the sun to peek over the valley side. When it did, golden light flooded the hut for fleeting moments between the clouds. The warm hues cast contrasted beautifully with the muted blue tones of the distant landscape behind the cold morning mist.
I could only do my best to capture the moment on camera. A one minute long exposure photographed with a 10 stop ND filter which served to smooth the water to emphasise the serenity of the morning.
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