The Cot Valley..

..Otherwise known as Porth Nanven.  This is a designated site of Special Scientific Interest because of the prehistoric raised beach that sits above the cove, regularly delivering dinosaur egg sized pebbles down to the beach below.  The pebbles are captured in clay, probably a 100 or so feet above the beach. Weathering causes them to be released from where they’ve been held captive in the clay for millennia.  These pebbles are prehistoric, evidence of a beach that existed millions of years ago. To contemplate the weather patterns that could create such huge pebbles should probably give us pause for thought. We can understand tides that can turn small rocks into pebbles.  What forces must have been in play to create a pebble you couldn’t possibly lift.  I’m not so great on my prehistoric geology.  I know a man who is but he’s not here right now so I can’t tell you more.

Besides the scientific interest, this is a superb place to take photographs and that’s just what I did but I really didn’t get what I wanted

Instead I’m posting a picture I took last time I was down on that beach.  As photographers we’re so dependent on conditions, tides and a ton of other variables. The great Ansel Adams said if you could get 12 pictures a year, you were doing well.  I don’t think I’ve quite managed that, not that I’m in any way comparing myself to him, but it’s a reminder that so many factors have to come together to get that memorable photograph.  The one that’s really worth something. Worth pondering.  It may be a little conceited but I have this one on my wall.  It’s Cornwall, it’s the ocean, it’s the beach, all the things I love.

I’ll aim to try and post once a month now.  See how we go.  Sometimes with photography it’s about putting yourself in the right place and waiting for the right time.  Sometimes, lets be honest, it’s pure luck. I’ll not deny I’ve had a few of those.  This was one of them.  Within seconds of taking this exposure, the whole scene was deluged with incoming sea water and that delicate balance between the fresh water making its way to the sea and the sea water surging forward was gone. Catching the moment is what it’s about.

By the way, I’ve been chosen as one of the judges for this year’s Weather Photographer of the Year competition.  I feel quite honoured.  It’s going to be an interesting job, trying to pick a winner.  :-)

33 responses

  1. Heide

    I don’t think it’s conceited at all to have that image of yours on your wall, Adrian — it’s absolutely breathtaking! You really captured the “decisive moment” in this frame … well done. And YAY to posting regularly, if you have the time! Your work is truly inspiring.

    May 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    • Thank you so much. Such a lovely comment. Thank you Heide! :)

      June 1, 2018 at 2:29 pm

  2. Hi Adrian, beautiful shot mate and it’s good to see you back blogging. Great news about the judging gig. Hope things are OK.

    May 21, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    • Thank you Mark. I’ve missed blogging but will be taking a bit more of a laid back approach to it. It can take over. Things are much better thank you. I’m very much looking forward to judging the photographs.

      June 1, 2018 at 2:28 pm

  3. Fabulous landscape capture!

    May 21, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    • Thank you very much Peter!

      June 1, 2018 at 2:27 pm

  4. Beautiful, just love that colour palette.

    May 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    • Thank you so much Paula! :)

      June 1, 2018 at 2:26 pm

  5. I have to disagree with, “it may be a little conceited” to have your own photogrpah on the wall. It’s beautiful and it has that extra something you’re talking about, which invites us to ponder. You put it very well, the dilemma of chance and weather and light, and so many other variables. We do what we can, and at places like beaches, it seems we are even more subject to the whims of greater forces.
    It’s always a pleasure, and congratulations on being asked to judge the Weather Photographer of the Year competition – should be interesting!

    May 21, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    • Thank you so much Lynn. I do enjoy this picture not least because of the circumstances in which I got it. It’s the frustration of landscape photography that 9 times out of 10 you put yourself in the right place at the wrong time. The number of times I’ve been up at 4am to capture an image I have in my mind that never materialises. When it all comes together, well, that’s why we keep doing it.
      I’m looking forward to the judging. I’ll be looking at photographs with what I’ve just said in mind. I’m going to be looking for that magic that happens when one’s patience is paid off and you get an exceptional photograph when all comes together. It might be luck, a few of mine have been to say the least but it is usually about putting oneself in the right place and waiting, often having to come back, more than once. I’ve been to the Cot Valley many times now and still only have the ‘one’ picture. I think I’ll know the photographs when I see them that will get my vote. I’m very much looking forward to the task.

      June 1, 2018 at 2:26 pm

  6. Stunning……partly because of the composition and lovely shade of blue, but for me, even more special, as I’ve never seen a photographer capture that moment of the tide when the water surges in and makes the sand break off with that craggy sharp edge.

    Good to see a photographer doing something different.

    May 22, 2018 at 12:44 am

    • Thank you Vicki, that’s very kind. Just one of those moments where you put yourself in the right place and you get lucky. :)

      June 1, 2018 at 2:07 pm

  7. Ahhh… Lovely! You’ve surely been missed.

    May 22, 2018 at 2:22 am

    • Thank you so much Gunta. I really appreciate your thoughts. :)

      June 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm

  8. Yvonne Theze

    Hi Adrian, an interesting caption to a lovely photo. Mum x

    Sent from my iPad


    May 22, 2018 at 7:30 am

    • Thank you Mum. x

      June 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm

  9. Beautiful. I need to go there when it is low tide. Those giant pebbles are something else!

    May 22, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    • Thank you Jude. It’s really not easy accessing the beach, I usually get across the pebbles on my backside with help with my equipment but it’s worth it when the conditions are right. Last time we established it was better to cross from the car park and follow the stream down to the beach rather than trying to cross the weed that is often piled up and very slippery so wellies would be useful when you visit. :)

      June 1, 2018 at 1:51 pm

  10. It’s a beautiful moment, Adrian. Glorious!

    May 24, 2018 at 12:50 am

    • Thank you so much Karen. It was indeed. I put the two shots together, the one I took a few weeks ago and this one and well, right time right place. The former was the right place, just not the right time. Such is frustration and the joy of landscape photography. :)

      June 1, 2018 at 1:47 pm

  11. Judging – now that will be interesting!

    May 25, 2018 at 10:30 am

    • Indeed Noeline. I keep thinking of that quote ‘I don’t know what makes a good photograph but I know it when I see it’. Not sure who said that but I get it. I’m very much looking forward to the challenge.

      June 1, 2018 at 1:45 pm

  12. Prachtig alweer.Wat kan ik toch genieten van je fotowerk en gefeliciteerd om mee jury te mogen zijn,je zal dat met heel veel kennis goed doe,

    May 27, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    • Heel erg bedankt Lou! :)

      June 1, 2018 at 1:42 pm

  13. I remember this image, Adrian…another beauty. And congratulations on being chosen as judge for the Weather Photographer of the Year competition! Yes…what an honor…so well deserved. :)

    May 28, 2018 at 2:03 am

  14. It’s a gorgeous image, Adrian. You are absolutely right to have framed it und put it on your wall. Thanks for sharing the interesting history of Porth Nanven.
    Heartfelt congratulations from us all on being chosen as a judge for the Weather Photographer of the Year competition!! We are totally impressed, but not surprised. :-)
    Best regards to you both. xx

    June 20, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    • Hi Hanne,
      Sorry not to have been in touch. Things haven’t been that easy lately health wise but I start oxygen therapy in September and this will bring me some relief. Catch up soon I hope. Love to you both..

      August 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      • We hope you are feeling better now that you are getting oxygen therapy, Adrian. Thinking about you and wishing you all the best. Xx

        September 9, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      • Hi Dina, I’m feeling so much better Dina since I started on the oxygen. I’m getting a proper night’s sleep for the first time in such a long time and it’s making all the difference in the world. Thank you. :-)

        September 12, 2018 at 11:20 am

  15. Beautiful. Love the angle!

    July 11, 2018 at 3:26 am

    • Thank you so much!

      August 7, 2018 at 3:05 pm

  16. Lovely photo. You say you went shooting but didn’t get what you wanted. Do you have a plan or visualise how you want a photo to turn out?

    August 8, 2018 at 9:56 am

    • Hello again. WordPress seems to be playing with my comments. I’ve gone from getting none to lots of old ones and comments that have obviously crossed. Sorry about that and thank you.
      I do tend to go out visualising the photograph I want to take which is why I’m so often disappointed, I do see the picture I want to take and if the conditions don’t conspire to produce what I have in my mind’s eye, it’s a wasted day and I’ll not take any pictures at all. That’s why Iceland was so amazing. It was always giving. I really do need to practice just looking in my backyard and ‘seeing’ what’s obviously there but I do like to photograph the grand vista. I’d so like to come to Oz and photograph there but not sure that’s going to happen. Your pictures of Uluru were absolutely stunning. Especially those taken from the helicopter at sunrise. Wow.
      Just waiting on the lottery win.. :-)

      September 12, 2018 at 1:20 pm