Sometimes it’s just fun to see where things can go with a photograph. This is one of my most sucessful images turned into a jigsaw then blown apart using the 3D tools available within Photoshop to reveal the gem of the photograph, within a globe, and with a photograph of the Milky Way I took behind. I had to photograph my own hand and then isolate it to create the illusion of the hand holding the globe. Why, well why not? For those curious, this is the engine house used in the opening titles to Poldark.
Perhaps not the most seasonal of images for many but the reality of the weather at time in the UK now is for rather warm, often wet, conditions so I’ve avoided posting a snowy picture from Iceland and instead, decided to post this picture, taken at Priest’s Cove in Cornwall very close to Lands End, the most south-westerly point in the UK, a few days ago. It looks like Christmas Day is set to reach a record high, temperature wise this year so perhaps the Christmas Card industry, at least in the UK will have to start to re-thinking their snowy Christmas cards.
I’d like to wish all the followers of my blog a Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (as I understand the two celebrations coincide this year) and to season’s greetings, happy holidays to everyone else, however and whatever you celebrate.
It’s been a turbulent year on so many levels around the world so lets hope for better in 2017. That will certainly be my Christmas wish.
Catch up in the New Year. All the very best. Adrian :-)
On my recent visit to Fuerteventura, out of the 23 days we were there, we had two really quite stormy days and rather than spend my time, as so many visitors appeared to be doing, wandering around shopping malls looking thoroughly miserable, of course for me as a photographer, this was an opportunity. I grabbed my camera and headed off into the mountains but not before catching one last photo of the sunshine on the beach before the clouds finally took over completely.
If you look closely, down in the bottom left, you can just see a tiny red flag on the beach indicating it was no longer safe to swim on what is normally a very safe beach indeed. Stormy weather indeed!
Such a wonderful backdrop to this tiny village in the heartland of Fuerteventura. This extinct volcano, its caldera so clearly defined
What was wonderful to see after the rain, just a couple of days remember, was the scrub and even the sand come alive with green plants and fresh green shoots. It was as if spring had arrived in the island though of course it was autumn.
Fuerteventura is a wonderful place to visit and I can recommend it to anyone. For me, in the off season, this is the very best time to visit even though you can’t be guaranteed that every day will be clear blue skies, that’s perfect for me and my camera.
And as you can imagine, missing Fuerteventura very much. I’ve attached a few pictures. This was my home for the last three and a half weeks, the squat white apartment bulding up in the dunes on the far left. There were 4 apartments in this building, all with terraces and fine views. Leaving Fuerteventura Airport with the temperatures hitting 27°C, arriving at Bristol Airport to temperatures of -3°, the shock to the system was considerable.
Staying on the Playa de Sotovento de Jandia at Risco el Passo, has been a real pleasure. This beach stretches for miles and miles and has to be one of the top beaches in the world. It is relatively sheltered here from the strong winds that tend to blow in the Canary Islands, however a very refreshing breeze is the norm keeping the temperatures for me off-season, quite bearable.
But, I’m back now and lots to get on with not least catching up with all of you which I’ll be doing in the coming days. Thank you for your patience. I didn’t think I could manage a day without the Internet let alone 3 weeks and more but it’s been a very refreshing change and one I can recommend every now and then. That said, coming home to nearly 1000 emails in my inbox means there’s a fair amount of catching up to do.
I didn’t do a whole lot of photography, I was needing a bit of a break for reasons I’m hopefully going to be sharing with you all very soon. However, when we had a couple of stormy days, I couldn’t resist getting up into the mountains with my camera! Those pictures will follow.. :-)
I’ve just arrived in Fuerteventura. I’ll be here for the next the weeks enjoying the sunshine and the wonderful sandy beaches. In staying in a villa just yards from Sotovento beach, a few miles south of Costa Calma. It’s heaven.
We’ve no WiFi here so I’m going to be out of touch for a little while. I’ll hope to catch up with you all on my return.
I’m Publishing this post from my smart phone, not something I’ve done before and it’s not going smoothly to say the least but fingers crossed.
See you all soon..
Whilst I was visiting Bude recently, I had to deliver some pictures that are being featured in an exhibition in Taunton, Somerset. This journey took me from north Cornwall to south Devon, on into somerset and rather than return the same way I’d come, I decided to drive north to the north Devon Coast.
In 1976, here in the UK, we had the most extraordinary summer. Weeks of Mediterranean type weather. I was lucky enough, as an 11 year old boy, to spend that summer staying with a great uncle in North Devon. Everyday we visited the beach. Saunton Sands was the destination of choice and this was somewhere I really wanted to revisit.
Unfortunately, the weather was certainly not that of the summer of ’76 however, it was great to see people enjoying the beach regardless.
A trip to the passport office in Newport, Gwent, South Wales doesn’t on the surface appear to be the most likely of chores to illicit a photograph but one just never knows. With a 4 hour wait between handing in the application and picking up the finished passport, a trip along the coast to Penarth, just the other side of Cardiff seemed like a nice distraction.
Arriving at the pier and parking the car, it was immediately clear that there was something really quite special about the early autumn light. A thin layer of high cloud was obscuring the sun that promised an unseasonably warm Indian summer’s day.
Crossing the road and claiming a bench, a group of swans put in an appearance and the following pictures were the result of a very pleasant hour spent by the sea. Shooting into the partially obscured sun, the effect was quite magical.
The moral of the story, always, always always take your camera with you. Even if you’re just making a trip to the supermarket. You just never know. You might just get lucky. I hope you enjoy the photographs.. :-)
I have just had the tremendous pleasure of meeting and staying with a couple of blogging friends in Cley next the Sea in North Norfolk. Many of you will know Hanne and Klausbernd from their blog, The World According to Dina. We’ve had a fabulous week of hospitality, photography and great conversations over some lovely meals in this very beautiful area of the country.
North Norfolk is somewhere I visited as a teenager and haven’t been back since. I’m so glad to have had the chance to visit now. I’ll be posting a little bit from Norfolk over the next couple of weeks but for now, here’s a taster. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Dina and Klausbernd and to encourage other bloggers to meet when they can. For me it’s always been such a positive and rewarding experience and this was no exception. I will now be catching up with all your blogs over the next week so bear with me.. :-)
Having just returned from enjoying some lovely warm sunshine in Fuerteventura, here are some pictures I took when I was in Iceland in February. Quite a contrast.
When traveling through Vik (pronounced Vig) in Iceland, you can’t fail to notice the rock stacks that extend from the cliff into the sea. These rocks are known as Reynisdrangar.
The black beach at Vik can get very busy as can the beach at Reynisfjara just to the west of Vik with people wanting to view the rocks but a short drive east, just out of town and by negotiating a very rutted and decidedly icy and snowy track, I found myself on the beach with not another soul in sight. Just how I like it.
This blizzard had been following us along the coast all day, it was finally making landfall and as ever, the road conditions got interesting thereafter..
70mm f/11 1/200 sec. ISO-100
..And as always seems to happen whenever I get near a beach, even a beach at -10ºC or 14ºf with a fearsome windchill, I got wet. Whilst focusing on the rocks, literally, a wave curled around and snuck up behind me…
A Postcard or two from Fuerteventura
Regular followers of this blog will know that I love the sea, I love the coast and I love the beach. Whether visiting the beaches around the coast of my home county of Cornwall, the black volcanic snow and ice covered beaches of Iceland or the sun drenched beaches of the Canaries, I’m a happy man.
Here a few picture postcard beach shots from my recent visit to Fuerteventura, I hope you enjoy them..
A visit to the beach in Iceland in winter is a wonderful thing. The black sand, the snow and ice, the wonderful light, it really is something to be savoured. I’ve put together some pictures here of one particular visit to the beach where during the course of the day, the wind rose from about 3 m/s that’s about 6 miles per hour to about 30 m/s, that’s getting on for 70 miles per hour. This was one of those occasions, and I mentioned it in my last post, where getting out of the car can be extremely difficult unless you position the car carefully. Damage to doors on hire cars is extremely common in Iceland when unsuspecting tourists park up, open the door with the car facing downwind and the door is subsequently wrenched off its hinges. Extreme wind speeds are commonplace and even more so in winter. I just needed to get out to take a picture, standing was difficult, I had to hang on to the tripod and to the car and somehow get a composition and press the shutter but I think it was worth it. I’ll be posting some more pictures from a little further down the coast in due course.. :-D
A trip to Iceland, wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a place that has really captured my heart, Höfn. As we were driving down the east coast from Akureyri to Höfn, I found myself asking ‘what time will we be home’. I have made such good friends here and for a photographer, Höfn and the surrounding area, really takes some beating.
As we approached ‘home’ after a day photographing back along the east coast, the sun was low and preparing to set. The light was magical. I knew immediately that just after the tunnel, I would have to turn left and take the gravel road to Stokksnes. The last time I visited I was with my good friend Ronnie and being with a local, I was spared the 600 kr per person entry fee that Omar, the land owner has imposed on tourists. I must point out that this is extremely un-Icelandic behaviour and something that local people are horrified by but Omar is known for his love of the Krona so there it is, you pay to continue along the gravel road to this amazing beauty spot.
I paid my 600 kr and continued on my way but quickly became aware of someone in a pick-up truck persuing us. I pulled over and the truck pulled up. A man leaned out of the window claimed I hadn’t paid. This must be Omar I thought. He’d certainly checked that honesty box smartish. I did pay I explained, I put the money in your honesty box’. There’s a box outside the small cafe for you to pay should the cafe be closed. However what I hadn’t realised was Omar was now charging 600 kr per person and there were two of us in the car.
I handed over the money and asked ‘last time I was here with Ronnie from the village’, someone Omar knows well, ‘he took us to an old fishing boat’. ‘You want to take more pictures’ Omar asked. ‘I do’ I replied. ‘Follow me he said..’ He drove round the gate to the left that had a handmade sign strung across it. A read circle with a white band across it, ‘No Entry’ had been added at the bottom just in case someone might not have got the message.
We followed Omar around the gate and through a puddle that came half-way up Omars wheels so I was guessing a little higher on my rented Kia Sorento. Both myself and my passenger looked down to see if we were about to get wet feet. Not this time thankfully. On down the track Omar pulled up at the edge of the very shiny black sand. It was high tide. Something I only realised when we got to the edge. I could see the surf crashing not too far out.
‘I’ll leave you here’ Omar said. ‘Keep within 50 metres of the green and you’ll be OK’, the green being the marsh grasses to our left, ‘but don’t stop mind’ at this, Omar made gestures that left us in no doubt that we’d sink if we did. He reversed, smiling and waving. Did I detect a certain mischievousness to that smile? Surely not.
Behind us the sky was an amazing pink, ablaze as the sun was sinking lower. I took a deep breath, I’m a photographer, I need to get my picture, and drove onto the wet sand. The 4×4 was managing well, traction was good but the car felt the same way I’ve felt when walking across a very deep pile carpet, it was decidedly spongy. As I made my way from one raised bit of dry sand to another, I was beginning to think that maybe this time I’d gone too far.. I should have waited for Ronnie except Ronnie was in Paris. I was beginning to worry a little. We were driving through porridge. The spongy, squidginess of the going beneath us seemed to be increasing. I checked my distance from the ‘green’. I was about 25m away so apparently safe, nonetheless, I pressed the gass. Did Omar send us out here only to charge us an exorbitant fee for rescue? I banished the thought.
Thankfully, off in the distance I could see the track emerging from the sand and I knew we’d soon be on terra firma once more. I drove on to the small cove where I knew the boat lay. We made it! The light was beautiful but we were very aware of the crashing surf. It really looked as though the tide was still coming in.. Extra porridgey, spongy, squidginess to come.. Hmm. I didn’t relish the thought.
Below is one of the pictures I took that white knuckle late afternoon. I didn’t hang about. I was keen to get back across the sands. I began to worry that I’d never find that exit track in the gloom and we’d be left searching in the dark for a way off the sand. I was comforted, sort of, that Omar would still be watching. He wouldn’t wish us any harm I was sure. We set off back across the sand, hopping from one small island of higher drier sand to the next. Searching the horizon for the ‘exit’ I began to enjoy myself, weaving this way and that.
Passing the Viking Village on the right (A film set waiting for a film apparently) I knew it couldn’t be too much further when out of the gloom, I could see what looked like a track. Sure enough, in no time at all I was off the sand and on our way ‘home’. It was a big relief. At no time were we in physical danger I’m sure. Just in danger of getting stuck on the sand. Not a welcome thought as it was a lot further than I could manage to walk.
As we passed the cafe there was no sign of Omar’s truck. We hadn’t seen headlights departing as we approached dry land and we hadn’t passed it as we passed what I think was his house so at what point he’d left we just don’t know. I must add again, Omar is very much an exception. The Icelandic people are warm, friendly and extremely eager to help their ‘guests’ get the very most from their stays in Iceland.
14mm f/8 1/15 ISO-100.
I was on the beach at Reynisfjara at the very southern-most tip of Iceland in a blizzard back in February. I was taking pictures despite the snow when a figure seemed to materialise out of nowhere, way up the beach, walking towards me. As he came close I saw that he was a fellow photographer. As he passed we exchanged greetings, surreptitiously checking out each other’s equipment (like you do) while we talked. Satisfied and content in that camera brand camaraderie one finds amongst Nikon and Canon shooters alike, we said goodbye and he moved off.
A piece of music came unbidden to mind, a lovely piece of music by the great Joe Harnell, The lonely Man. The piece of music, one I used to play myself, accompanied the closing credits to the Incredible Hulk TV series as David Bannerman, still afflicted by the hulk curse after another adventure, set off once more in his lonely search for a cure.
This is a link to the music if you’re unfamiliar with it. It was used in the recent Hulk movie too – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4_5c1OJXc4 It just seemed to just fit the image somehow.. Enjoy!
Reynisfjara is a black sand beach at the very southern-most tip of Iceland, not far from the village of Vik. The last time I visited, I’d just travelled through the most intense snow storm that had an army of ploughs struggling to keep the road clear. As I got onto the beach, there was a moment of respite and I could clearly see the storm continuing its journey up the coast..
45mm f/11 1/60 sec. ISO-50
This post is dedicated to all those struggling with the heat of the summer.
We’ve been having some very pleasant sunny days here in Cornwall over the last couple of weeks. The wind has been cold which has kept the edge off the heat which for me is a positive thing. MS Symptoms are exacerbated by the heat, perhaps this is why I’m enjoying Iceland so much. The weather today is warm, muggy, dull and wet, quite a change so I’d thought I’d cheer myself up and process a picture I took of one of my favourite signature view down on Chapel Porth beach the other morning. The tide was coming in allowing me to capture a nice reflection of the Wheal Coates engine house in the sand. Wet feet were the inevitable side effect but it was worth it I think. Hopefully the sun will be back with us by Sunday..
At this time of year, the sun barely dips below the horizon in Iceland so it doesn’t truly get dark. Sunset and sunrise are within about four hours of each other and during this time, twilight prevails. I decided it would be nice to visit Jökulsárlón again at dawn so after just a couple of hours sleep, we set off from Höfn for the hour-long drive. My previous visit to this glacial lagoon was a couple of months ago and you can see details of that visit here and here.
Despite there being much less ice in the lagoon itself this time, there was still plenty of ice on the beach as you can see from the pictures. I was doing very well at keeping clear of the waves until the wave in the first picture surged ashore. To say the water was cold is an understatement. I’ve been soaked many times taking pictures on the beaches around Cornwall. This particular soaking is one I’ll remember for a long time. For the next few hours, I drove the car barefoot whilst my hiking boots and socks dried in front of the heater vents. Click on the images for a clearer sharper view! :-)
It’s day four of the five day black and white challenge that Sue J kindly invited me to take up. I don’t usually get involved in these kinds of challenges but this one seemed very timely given I’ve been exploring black and white film. My first two images, came from my film cameras and were planned black and white photographs. Yesterday’s photo was a digital conversion from a colour photograph as is this picture. The difference with this one is that with grey skies, ocean and rocks, the image was very monochromatic to start with, the conversion wasn’t a huge leap. This is a double, long, exposure, accentuating I think, the dynamic nature of wind and tide. The picture was taken on the beach at Constantine Bay here in Cornwall. Something a little different. Click on the picture for a larger and sharper view, it does make a difference.. :-)
Today I’d like to invite Mike to take up the challenge. Mike frequently treats us to some superb black and white photography on his blog Mike’s Look at Life. I’m hoping he’ll share some more over the next five days but only if time allows of course..
I’m happy to say that Angi has taken up the challenge and you can see her black and white photos on her blog, Moments in Time
I’ve been wanting to photograph a pier for some time. We don’t have any in Cornwall. The nearest are in south Devon, the next county over and north Somerset, the next county over again. I had to be in Bath today and this took me conveniently close to the north Somerset pier at Clevedon.
Clevedon is one of the oldest piers in England. Building commenced in 1867 and was completed in 1869. The pier is 312 m (1,024 ft) long and consists of eight spans supported by steel rails covered by wooden decking, with a pavilion on the pier-head. The pier served as an embarkation point for paddle steamer excursions for almost exactly 100 years. Two of the spans collapsed during stress testing in 1970 and demolition was proposed, but local fund-raising and heritage grants allowed the pier to be dismantled for restoration and reassembled. It reopened in 1989, and ten years later was awarded the Pier of the Year from the National Piers Society, as well as a Civic Trust Award. The pier now, once again, offers a landing stage for steamers and is a popular attraction for tourists and anglers. There is more restoration work going on at the moment so I didn’t venture onto the pier. Access appeared a little awkward to say the least.. I will save that for another time.. :-)
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.
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.
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. :-)
Click on any of the images for a sharper view.. :-)
I think I’ve mentioned before that we had an incredible September weatherwise here in Cornwall and with the summer tourist season over and most children back in school, the beaches were deserted.
These two girls were certainly making the most of this unusual freedom. A whole beach on which to play with mum and dad always in view. The sort of day that lifetime memories are made of. Click on the image for a sharper, clearer view.. :-)
I’d just like to say thank you to Michelle from WordPress who contacted me last week to say that I am now, and I’m very proud to say this, a WordPress recommended photography blog. Since receiving this news, I’ve gained a lot of new followers so I’d like to welcome you all to Cornwall Photographic and hope that you enjoy my posts.
These photographs were taken at a smashing little beach called Porthcothnan on the north coast of Cornwall. Up until last winter, just around the cliff on the left, there was a huge rock that had a hole worn through it forming an arch, a bit like the one at Durdle Door in Dorset. One could get to it at low tide only. Sadly, it was smashed to pieces in the severe storms of last winter. Lets hope we don’t have a repeat of all that this winter. This rock arch was one of those features that I kept telling myself, I must check the tides and go down and take some pictures. I missed my chance and it’s now lost forever. Definitely a lesson to be learned in there somewhere. Click on the images for a sharper, clearer view.. :-)
One of my new favourite places, Holywell Bay near Newquay in Cornwall. With a National Trust car park providing convenient parking, sand dunes, cliffs, rocky islands and the most amazing surf, this is a beach definitely worth a visit. More to follow. Click on the image for a sharper, clearer view.. :-)
There is now just one day left in which to vote for the best ‘People’ photograph in the latest Digital Lightroom photography Competition. Photographer David Penprase judged the initial round and gave us 12 shorlisted photographs. It is now down to a public vote as to which photograph wins the competition. It’d be great if you could take a moment to look at the pictures and vote for the one that you think deserves to win. Appreciate it, thank you.. http://thedigitallightroom.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/the-polls-are-open-5/
The pictures below were taken at Perranporth and Porthcothnan, Cornwall :-)
There is no doubt that I will keep returning to this beach time after time. Chapel Porth has got to be one of my favourite places to be. The beach only appears during spring tides that coincide with the full moon. During spring tides, the difference between the highest and the lowest tide is at its greatest. Neap tides, where there is little change between high tide and low tide, coincide with the new moon. Between new moon and full moon, the height of the tide at its lowest and highest, changes a little each day. Tide tables come in very handy when planning shoots, along with the weather forecast of course.
The day these photographs were taken, the tide was at its lowest at around 11.30 in the morning and on a beautiful September day, the shots I got weren’t the shots I was hoping for but I was quite pleased with these nonetheless. Waiting patiently for the moment the tide dropped low enough to be able to get onto this part of the beach, I was there before anybody else.
I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. It’s a long time since I had a paddle in the ocean usually preferring the Wellington boot to taking my shoes and socks off and rolling up my trouser legs but on this day, I couldn’t resist.. Click on the pictures for a clearer sharper view :-)