August in Cornwall - normally ice creams, packed beaches, sunny skies and cream teas come to mind. Maybe not such a great location in the height of summer for a landscape photography trip/summer holiday....or so I thought. Over the ten days we were in this beautiful county, the weather (and lack of crowds) made for some great shooting, and I came away feeling pretty satisfied at the images I managed to create. Over the next few posts I will be showing some of those images (including ones that in hindsight didn't work so well), and talking a little about how I went about shooting. I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for more... Day 1, Mousehole. Mousehole is a tiny village in the south west of Cornwall, more or less as far south and west as you can get in Britain (Land's End is only 20 odd miles away - more from this location soon...). Its lack of sandy beaches and its exposed position on the east side of a peninsula actually makes it pretty perfect for some landscape shooting. And luckily, the weather was a bit naff, cloudy enough to give the images a moody, more interesting look (a lot more interesting than a clear blue sky anyway!). I had treated myself before the trip and added a Lee Filters ND Grad to my kit, so I was keen to see what difference it would make to my images. I also dug out my Little and Big Stoppers, as my style seems to be veering towards the calm, more minimal long exposure look. Lots of photographers dislike this kind of smooth water shot, as they think it is overdone and a bit cliche. Sometimes I agree, but I'm trying to add extra elements to these kind of images to create a bit more interest...
There were a few things that drew me to make this image. The bright green algae on the pebbles in the foreground, which leads your eye to the stepping stone layout of the rocks in the smooth still sea, and then the island in the distance, almost appearing to have a halo of light surrounding it. I was a big fan of this stretch of coast, and the overcast skies created an appealing tone. One of my favourite images I have taken in the last few months.
I've had a little bit of time recently after work to go and shoot, although it has been so cold there is only so much time I can spend outdoors!To be honest its been a bit of a mixed bag. The first night, I managed to get a shot of Orion rising above a farm barn. This shot should have been OK, except I messed up the focus (the light was so low it was pretty hard to get it spot on!). The moon was also bright that night, so it was pretty difficult to get a strong exposure of the stars. I also tried a stack of 10 or so images, each exposed for 20 seconds. PSE 11 made this a pretty difficult task, and I wasn't that pleased with the result...Although, even with the streaking, you can still tell it is the constellation Orion. I would like to do some more astrophotography in the future, and for this I will likely end up using DeepSkyStacker (something actually made for the job). Tonight, I tried a different location. However, it was pretty cloudy so I decided to focus on some long exposure stuff, especially since I was near the local train line. This was a 15 second exposure at f/11 (16 mm). Due to the long shutter, I managed to capture both the train moving past and the lovely arcs made by the crossing barriers. So, its getting there, but I'd like to capture more of the night sky before we move into Spring.
We've just got back from a trip to the Scottish highlands, and so begins the big task of selecting and editing the images to share! There were two main toys I wanted to play with on this trip; the Lee Little Stopper and the Nikon 16-35mm f/4. Both of these were bought specifically for this trip, and so most of the images were using one or both of these items!
This image was captured at the Bowfiddle rock formation in Portknockie. A really sleepy fishing town; it was so quiet here we had the little beach to ourselves.
P.s. To get a really smooth sea, I could have done with the Big Stopper...