I’ve just heard that two of my photographs have been shortlisted in the Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition.  The shortlist hasn’t been made public yet so I can’t post the images here but I did post one of them just a little while ago along with a few others, wondering which one you all preferred.  Category winners (I’ve been shortlisted in the ‘Light on the Land’ category) will be announced on Wednesday 14th January and the overall winner will be announced at Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show at London’s ExCel on the 15th February.  Looking at the shortlist and recognising the names of some of the top landscape photographers in the country, I’m really quite stunned and more than a little bit chuffed right now.. :-)

It’s been a pretty amazing day all round actually.  I was assessed by a physio today for Functional Electronic Stimulation (FES) treatment.  Basically my nerves are scrambled due to my MS and this has led to walking difficulties generally but one problem in particular,  has been an inability to raise my right foot.  The signals have not been getting through from my brain, and this has led to my foot dragging when it should be lifting when I take a stride.  This has led to trips and stumbles and a very sore back due to trying to compensate by swinging my leg around rather than through.

The FES treatment involves wearing a couple of electrodes just below the knee attached to a pressure sensitive pad in your shoe.  When you raise your leg to walk, the pressure pad is activated and a signal is sent to the electrodes which then deliver and electronic stimulus to the nerve, that should be being stimulated by my brain, through the skin.  The result is a raised foot, no more dragging.  I have two more appointments now with the physio to teach me how to use the equipment.  Pretty amazing all round as I said! :-)

The Minnack Theatre and Porthcurno Beach..

But to business,  Just before Christmas I visited the Minnack theatre in Cornwall.  It was somewhere I’d wanted to visit for a long time and after a week of some of the dullest and miserable weather Cornwall has to offer, the sun came out.  The Minnack theatre was the brainchild of Rowena Cade (2 August 1893 – 1983), older sister of the feminist Katharine Burdekin, who moved to Cornwall after the First World War and built a house for herself and her mother on land at Minack Point for £100. In 1929, a local village group of players had staged Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a nearby meadow at Crean, repeating the production the next year. They decided that their next production would be The Tempest and Miss Cade offered the garden of her house as a suitable location, as it was beside the sea.

A photograph of the Minnack Theatre Cornwall14mm f/11 1/125 sec. ISO-100

Miss Cade and her gardener made a terrace and rough seating, hauling materials down from the house or up via the winding path from the beach below. In 1932, The Tempest was performed with the sea as a dramatic backdrop, to great success. Miss Cade resolved to improve the theatre, working over the course of the winter months each year throughout her life (with the help of Billy Rawlings and Charles Angove) so that others might perform each summer.

In 1944, the theatre was used as a location for the Gainsborough Studios film Love Story, starring Stewart Granger and Margaret Lockwood but inclement weather forced them to retreat to a studio mock-up. In 1955, the first dressing rooms were built. In the 1970s, the theatre was managed by Lawrence Shove. Since 1976 the theatre has been registered as a Charitable Trust and is now run by a local management team. Rowena Cade died on 26 March 1983, at the age of 89.

Minnack Theatre Stage14mm f/11 1/25 sec. ISO-100

Nowadays, the theatre is used from June to September for a full summer season of 17 plays, produced by companies from all over the UK and visiting companies from the USA. The theatre is open for visitors throughout the rest of the year. The 75th anniversary of Minack was celebrated with a production of The Tempest in August 2007, directed by Simon Taylor and performed by the Winchester College Players. Source: Wiki

Once of the beauties of a visit to the Minnack Theatre is that right next door,  you’ll find Porthcurno.  Sadly the sun wasn’t shining when we visited the beach but it’s definitely one of the most beautiful in Cornwall. Imagine a nice warm sunny day, that gorgeous azure blue water, lovely golden sands..  Given that this was taken in December in the UK, it looks pretty good to me. :-)

Porthcurno14mm f/11 1/40 sec. ISO-100

Click on any of the images for a sharper view.. :-)



85 responses

  1. Rosa de los Vientos


    January 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    • Thank you very much Rosa!

      January 5, 2015 at 6:36 pm

  2. Congratulations, and nice to hear you’re getting recognition for your work.

    . . . and, as usual, very nice photo spread. Not a theater goer myself, but I can appreciate the site for the setting alone, if nothing else.

    January 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    • Thank you Emilio! I’m not a theatre goer either but I think I wouldn’t mind attending a performance at the Minnack. I think at night, with the lights and the waves crashing on the rocks beneath, it’d be a pretty unique experience. One drawback though is the English weather. It’s the reason drive-in movie theatres never really took off here. It’s no fun watching a move through windscreen wipers. :-)

      January 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm

  3. Congratulations :-)

    January 5, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    • Thank you very much indeed! :-)

      January 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm

  4. Bill Allsopp Photography

    Good luck in the final cut! Hope the FES treatment continues to help. Good luck with that too.

    January 5, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    • Thank you very much Bill!

      January 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm

  5. Well done, Adrian!! Also, excellent news re: the FES treatment – I shall be very interested to hear how you get on with it

    January 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    • Thank you Sue! It felt very strange today with the FES electrodes attached but the result was remarkable. Although I can’t walk far, to do so without tripping and stumbling will be a huge improvement. Two more appointments, next Monday and the Monday after with further Physio follow up. I’ll cetainly let you know how I’m getting on. :-)

      January 5, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      • Glad you got a good result today….long may it continue.

        January 5, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      • Thank you! :-)

        January 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

  6. Fantastic news and thoroughly deserved – I guess that means you’re one of Britain’s top landscape photographers as well now. Also, always wanted to see a play performed at Minnack, I bet it’s amazing.

    January 5, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    • I wouldn’t go that far Mark but thank you, I appreciate the vote of confidence! The shortlist contains some incredible photography and I think it’s always hard to see your own work as others see it. :-/
      I’d love to see a performance at the Theatre. I’ll have to make a point of checking what’s on next summer.

      January 5, 2015 at 9:12 pm

  7. Congratulations to you, Adrian. So happy to read all your good news. Good luck on both counts. The Minnack theatre has such a fascinating history, and what a marvellous setting for ‘The Tempest’! Your photos are really splendid. :)

    January 5, 2015 at 7:52 pm

  8. I adore the minack theatre and the beach below. Have been there twice now and each time the sun came out and sent the rain packing. It is hard to believe you are in England with the colour of the sea. Thank you for sharing and well done for getting recognition for your work.

    January 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    • Thank you very much Nicola. Good to hear you’ve been lucky with the weather at the Minnack as I was. The colour of the sea really is gorgeous around the Cornish coast. :-)

      January 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

  9. Beautiful! I wish you a happy new year! :-)

    January 5, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    • Thank you! And to you! :-)

      January 5, 2015 at 8:51 pm

  10. Reblogged this on Freiherr von Donau.

    January 5, 2015 at 8:52 pm

  11. I’ve wanted to see a play there for years! We sometime go to Polesdon Lacey for summer open air theatre or Guildford Castle :-) That’s soooo great that you’ve had two shortlisted images!!!! When the RHS told me I was shortlisted I just kept quiet for fear my mum would share the news with the world and jinx my meagre chances ;-) I think you thoroughly deserve such an accolade!

    So you’re in a similar reduced-mobility situation to me then!! I was in for acupuncture today with eases some of the pain and stiffness for a short while, but a short while and a small reduction is like heaven ;-) Really intrigued about the treatment! A good friend who is a violinist has MS and a particular issue with her left hand which has completely prevented her from playing. You’ve really inspired me to keep looking for ways to access more of our amazing landscape :-)

    January 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    • Thank you Sarah. I’m glad to hear that the acupuncture brings some relief for you. I’ve been meaning to look into that myself. I’m glad you’re inspired to keep looking for ways to access more of this beautiful country. It’s difficult, sometimes near impossible but we have to keep trying. When I had to give up teaching I was at a total loss for several years and was getting serously depressed when I remembered I’d always promised myself that DSLR. Photography is an excuse to get out in the countryside and when I’m out there, I seem to find a place to park the pain and discomfort and just enjoy. It’s priceless.
      FES can be used on all peripheral nerves so perhaps it might help your friend with her music. Funding can be difficult with some health authorities refusing to pay but if she can get a referral from a GP to one of the centres and it’s found to be beneficial, pressure can be brought to bear.

      January 5, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      • The day I stop trying I might as well lay down and die! I am definitely telling Sian FES! She’s a feisty person so she’ll be up for fighting for it. At the moment my acupuncture is being done by a specialist women’s physio as my Crohn’s went places it shouldn’t and I’ve had a lot of pelvic pain! I have had acupuncture before via pain management departments specifically for my fibromyalgia. Most NHS Trusts have someone who can offer it! I’m hoping that my Crohn’s will be stable enough to go back to INPUT pain management at St Thomas’ Hospital. It’s another specialist department for us special people ;-) They run an intensive, multi-disciplinary, live in course for a month (home at weekends). I had to drop out a few years ago when I needed more surgery but I really want to do it even though it will be hard work!

        Like you I find that being outside, enjoying and photographing the natural world allows me to put my pain in a box for a while :-) It’s my solace and my sanity! I was studying Fine Art, painting and photography, when everything went pear shaped and I had so wanted to teach. I keep adapting and altering how I can create art depending on how I am. Change is hard but embracing the exciting new things to learn and develop keeps life interesting :-)

        January 6, 2015 at 12:32 am

      • Absolutely Sarah. I admire your spirit. These illnesses you are dealing with are so debilitating. Wishing you well.

        January 6, 2015 at 8:48 am

      • Mutual respect :-) Wishing you well too and hoping for good results in the competition and the FES!

        January 6, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      • :-)

        January 7, 2015 at 6:56 am

  12. Congratulations–well deserved.

    January 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    • Thank you so much Sally! :-)

      January 5, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      • Thank you very much Sally, it’s been a good day! :-)

        January 5, 2015 at 10:07 pm

  13. Congratulations on all your good news!

    January 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm

  14. Great news Adrian and well deserved again! Your quality of work increases still and I hope you will be credited for that in this competition! S great start for the new year! Wishing you health, happiness, love and creativity!

    January 5, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    • Thank you very much Chris. I wish the same for you in 2015. It certainly has been a good start for me!

      January 5, 2015 at 10:48 pm

  15. It sounds like good news all round Adrian, and some more great photos as well. Good luck with the final result in the OP competition and I also hope that the FES proves to be really successful.

    January 5, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    • Thank you very much Dave! I really appreciate that! The FES certainly looks promising! :-)

      January 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm

  16. Firstly congratulations on the short listing, you have every right to be chuffed. For me the first image is the most pleasing to the eye as the others confuse me as to where I am meant to be looking. Not that you need any advice but for the thirds image I would have got much lower to give more impact to the image, however, I am sure you may well have done this elsewhere. Look forward to seeing more of your work.

    January 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    • Thank you David. Appreciate your comments. I agree with you, shots like the third often do benefit from getting as low as possible to the sand. As it was I was sitting on the sand with my tripod unextended so my camera was just 18 inches above the sand. The beach was shelving quite steeply and this has created more of an illusion of height. The use of a 14mm wide angle has added to it. In retrospect, I should have splayed the tripod legs and got even lower.

      January 6, 2015 at 9:07 am

  17. Congratulations well done.

    January 5, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    • Thank you Lou! :-)

      January 6, 2015 at 8:49 am

  18. Wow being shortlisted is such an honour. What a way to start the year. Good luck Adrian and beautiful images today.

    January 6, 2015 at 1:13 am

    • Thank you very much Edith. This was quite a surprise.

      January 6, 2015 at 8:46 am

  19. Congrats on your shortlist photographs. Looking forward to reading more soon. The photos you have displayed here are well composed, have perfect saturation levels, and seem tack sharp. I also noticed you shot in 100 ISO. I tend to shoot in ISO 200 living here in the Northwest with dreary weather and darker/bland skies at times. What are your thoughts on that?? Thanks for sharing your wonderful art.

    January 6, 2015 at 1:33 am

    • Thank you Spencer! Really appreciate that. I tend to shoot the lowest ISO I can and will generally reduce shutter speed or increase aperture rather than sacrifice the ISO setting. I use a tripod always so don’t find a slower shutter speed is generally too much of a problem. Modern digital cameras deal with noise very effectively but I don’t find claims of ‘no noise below about 1600’ on modern digital cameras stands up in practice. That said, I can’t see any real problem with ISO-200. If light is low and you don’t have a tripod, it makes a lot of sense.

      January 6, 2015 at 8:43 am

  20. Outstanding Adrian! Super images and great news about being short listed!

    January 6, 2015 at 1:52 am

    • Much appreciated Phil! Thank you very much!

      January 6, 2015 at 8:36 am

  21. It does look like you’ve had a good day, Adrian…on a couple of fronts…best wishes with both of them. :)

    January 6, 2015 at 2:15 am

    • It was Scott! Thank you. :-)

      January 6, 2015 at 8:35 am

      • Very welcome. :)

        January 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm

  22. I wish you all success with your medical treatment. Also, good luck with the photography competition.
    I am the current President of Solihull Photographic Society, I hope you will enter our 37th Open Exhibition of British Photography. We are one of the few competitive exhibitions that continues to accept prints as well as digital projected images.
    We have the following categories:
    – Prints – Colour, Mono, Nature
    – DPIs – Colour, Mono, Nature, Creative
    Entries are now open and will close on 17th January 2015. For more information see our website
    Please pass this information to anyone you think might be interested.

    January 6, 2015 at 9:12 am

    • Thank you Rhys! I appreciate your comment and I will definitely consider an entry in the competition.

      January 6, 2015 at 10:01 am

  23. The Minnack is a stunning theatre, and I love your shots of it. While the first shot gives a better idea of the expanse of the backdrop, the second gives a better view of the theatre. :)

    January 6, 2015 at 10:17 am

    • Thank you Richard! It’s a stunning location for a theatre thats for sure. I’d love to see a performance this year. :-)

      January 6, 2015 at 10:39 am

  24. poppytump

    Such splendid news to start the year with on all counts ChillB !
    Thank heavens the skies perked up for this outing to the lovely Minack Theatre is all I can say … one can really appreciate how it special it would be to see a live performance here for people looking these photos .. a glorious setting . I’m glad there were no crowds when we visited this day mind … just the odd person popping up now and then :-D

    January 6, 2015 at 11:34 am

    • Thank you Poppy. We were cetainly lucky with the weather.. It would be fun to see a live performance. Quite a different scene full of people watching a play I’d imagine. I seriously thought of including the man in the blue anorak, he was all over the shop. I did manage just a few shots when he’d disappeared behind a pillar though. :-D

      January 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm

  25. Well deserved. Bravo!

    January 6, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    • Thank you Mike! :-)

      January 6, 2015 at 5:54 pm

  26. Excellent news – on two fronts. My fingers are firmly crossed for you Adrian.

    January 6, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    • Thank you Andy! Yesterday was a good day! :-)

      January 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm

  27. Congrats, good luck and feel better!

    January 6, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    • Thank you so much Elena! :-)

      January 7, 2015 at 6:56 am

  28. Fabulous news about the potential awards. I am sending positive vibes to you! Also, such good news about you getting back on your feet again (pun intended). Keep strong! i am sure good news helps raise the spirits :)

    January 7, 2015 at 4:03 am

    • Thank you Marina! The FES was amazing. This means that the short distances that I can walk should be trip free which is brilliant. As for the shortlist, I was blown away. Nice pun by the way.. :-)

      January 7, 2015 at 6:56 am

  29. Congrats, beautiful pics of my favourite place in Cornwall – i think December is the best time of year to photograph the beaches there.

    January 7, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    • Thank you very much! December certainly can be a really good time for photographing the beach in Cornwall. One of the shortlisted pictures was taken on the beach, in December. :-)

      January 7, 2015 at 10:19 pm

  30. Well Adrian, beautiful photos as always, and sincere congratulations and good luck with the OP of the Year – that is really fantastic. Just being a finalist is a major win. Finally, great news on the FES – Your continued commitment to overcoming any obstacles to achieve the best possible photography is an inspiration. Sounds like 2015 could be quite a year for you!!

    January 8, 2015 at 12:44 am

    • Thank you Tina that’s very kind. The year has certainly started off in a good way. As you say, to be shortlisted in a competition like this is a big win and an even bigger one is the FES treatment that looks like it’s going to be very effective indeed. I’m very happy! :-)

      January 8, 2015 at 4:07 pm

  31. Hey, that’s fantastic! :D

    January 8, 2015 at 1:33 am

    • Thank you so much Lily! :-)

      January 8, 2015 at 4:05 pm

  32. Good luck Adrian…the winter beach has always worked for me.

    January 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    • Thank you very much John! The winter beach has an awful lot to offer, as you frequently demonstrate beautifully!

      January 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm

  33. Congratulations! Great photowork as always!

    January 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    • Thank you very much Hans! :-)

      January 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm

  34. Congratulations – I hope you make it through the shortlist! Having been in the same situation a number of times myself I know exactly how you feel ….
    The FES treatment sounds encouraging too. I’m constantly amazed at what medical science can do and for all that people gripe about the NHS it’s an incredible service we should be more proud of.

    January 9, 2015 at 10:28 am

    • Thank you Noeline. I’ll not be holding my breath, I’m happy to have made the shortlist and to see my pictures amongst some amazing work. The FES treatment was the real highlight of the day. There are things that could be vastly improved with the NHS but very little of that has to do with patient care and much more to do with top heavy administration and as turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, that’s not likely to change and only get worse. The Health Service does amazing wrok and we should be proud of it. Journalist love the things that go wrong, not so much the things that go right.

      January 9, 2015 at 10:44 am

  35. A great start to the year and all best for competition and treatment. That beach looks so good!

    January 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    • Thank you Patti! It is a lovely spot! :-)

      January 10, 2015 at 2:21 pm

  36. I read through this quickly earlier this week but had no time to reply…am so happy for you re the FES treatment. In a way, less under your control than photography kudos, as much depends on factors you have no control over – whether you’re a candidate for the treatment, whether it’s affordable or covered, the very fact that someone invented it, etc. I know you’ll give it all you’ve got, as you do with your artwork. And hey, sun or not, that’s one stunning sea in that last photo! Colors to swoon by!

    January 10, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    • Hi Lynn! Thankfully the National Health Service funds the treatment. I don’t have to worry about insurance companies not covering it which from what I’ve read, is quite common in the US. It’s an amazing device. The first session went very well. I saw a second physio later in the week who will work with me, and the FES equipment. She will try and make my limited mobility a little more effective and less painful, once I’ve got the hang of placing the electrodes and operating the device. It’s a committment but one I’m more than happy to make. A few extra yards might just get me that photo! :-)
      The lovely white sand around the coast of Cornwall makes for some stunning blues in the ocean. Colours to swoon by indeed! :-D

      January 10, 2015 at 8:38 pm

  37. Congratulations Adrian ~ you have such beautiful work!

    January 17, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    • Thank you very much Randall! Much appreciated! :)

      January 17, 2015 at 5:46 pm

  38. hope you win that :)

    January 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    • Thank you Joshi. I didn’t win but it was a real honour to have been shortlisted. :-)

      January 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm

  39. Congratulations.You deserve it

    January 25, 2015 at 11:38 am

    • Thank you very much Lou!

      January 25, 2015 at 11:41 am

  40. Congrats Adrian.

    January 30, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    • Thank you very much Jim. The shortlist was as far as it went but I was really pleased to have got that far.. Maybe next year.. ;-)

      January 30, 2015 at 7:52 pm