Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall

Day 3 - the north Cornish coast.  After a brief visit to the impossibly busy Padstow, hunting down decent landscape images was back on the agenda.  Fuelled by a delicious chick pea and potato curry pasty, we headed along the coastal road towards the Bedruthan steps (find them here - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carnewas-at-bedruthan/).  Again, like many of the National Trust locations in Cornwall, there is parking, and as we arrived late in the afternoon it was free.  The north Cornwall coast is extremely breezy because of its exposed location, which is why surfers flock here in their VW Transporters.  But this breeze made it pretty tricky for us to keep the camera steady for longer exposures!  So after a mild period of quiet panic, we hooked the gear bag onto the tripod and started shooting... bedruthan-steps-1-0923

Once again (like many of my coastal adventures) I broke out the Lee filters - both the ND grad (2 stops) and the Big Stopper were used.  I just can't get away from blurring the motion in the ocean!  When setting up a shot like this, I always take a series of images:  first one is for checking composition only, next one checks the exposure using a ND grad, and then the next few I use to get the exposure time right for the right look in the water.  I would always recommend this approach, because sometimes I find that the image without certain filters actually appeals to me more.

Bedruthan steps 2-0925

These two images were made right on the edge of a pretty fragile cliff (there were warning signs a little way along the soily edge to our left), but the platform was stable enough for the tripod.  The breeze was up, but there wasn't too much blur in the image from wind shake...we were lucky!

Heading north slightly, we made our way down a pretty steep (but well-paved) set of steps to the first lookout over the Bedruthan steps area.  The wind (and the spray) was picking up so we opted against going down the famous steps and instead stayed up on the cliff above the beach.  Avoiding some camera shake here seemed pretty much impossible and so the images from this location weren't as sharp as they could be, but the view was excellent.

Bedruthan steps

The beach was quite busy with people walking their dogs, but with the longer exposure their movement nicely compliments and matches the motion in the water lapping up onto the beach.  The colour of the ocean was fantastically blue, but it needed some help from Lightroom in order to make the images match what my eyes saw.  Generally though, colour reproduction from the Nikon is usually excellent.

Bedruthan steps beach

We continued on for another half mile or so (it felt further with the rolling terrain) till we reached the headland that had been a feature in the background of the images we'd produced so far.  From this position, we could also see Newquay in the far distance.  Combined with the rough sea, you could really see from this point why the north Cornish coast is a mecca for surfers.

Distant Newquay 1-0946

The sun was pretty much directly to our right in this location, so it was making the contrast a little trickier to control, and the colours of both the sea and the surrounding foliage was not quite as vibrant.  However, the new dehaze slider in Lightroom worked wonders to clear this up slightly.

Colour version

Monochrome conversion

Because of this weird side light and high contrast, a mono conversion seemed a good bet to combat this.  I have included both versions for you to compare.  With time getting on we decided to call it a day and start to head back to our rented cottage.  It would have been amazing to stay for a sunset, but this wasn't just a photography trip, and I owed my husband some dinner...