Posts tagged “Porth Nanven

A Zen Moment.. Porth Nanven

While I was visiting Porth Nanven in the Cot Valley last week, waiting for the light that didn’t materialise ( it was overcast and the light was very flat) I had a bit of a zen moment.. My balancing pebble installation would naturally be temporary with a rising tide.. Hadn’t realised how temporary mind you..

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Porth Nanven, Cot Valley, Cornwall – Boundaries

Here’s a few more pictures from my recent dawn shoot at Porth Nanven in the Cot Valley, Cornwall.  This really is a very special place and needs very little help from the Photoshop toolbox but in the third image posted today, I let my imagination run just a little bit.

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There is always a lot of talk about post processing pictures.  Otto hosted a very interesting discussion on the subject recently of lines and boundaries and definitions of photography in the digital age.  For me, shooting RAW, I always post process my images, it’s a requirement.  I like to have that control.  If you shoot jpegs and are happy to let your camera do the processing for you, that’s fine but of course the pictures are still processed.

Porth Nanven, Cot Valley, Cornwall - Boundaries24mm f/8  76 sec. ISO-100

There does come a point however when a post-processed photograph becomes something more and here I like the way the Royal Photographic Society categorises images such as these for the purposes of gaining distinctions from the Society.  These images come under ‘Visual Art’ category.

To make the image below, I took one of the two original photographs.  I then went through my archives digging out photographs with really nice clouds in them as well as photos with birds.  I then created some Photoshop brushes, quite a simple process for which there are many tutorials, and ‘painted’ the clouds and the birds onto the image.  The moon was added in exactly the same way.  You don’t need to make your own brushes of course.  There are many out there freely available but I wanted to work with elements added from my own photographs.  I then spent some time with gradient maps, adjustment layers, luminosity masks and rendered lighting effects to create just the atmosphere I wanted.

Porth Nanven, Cot Valley Post Processed

40px spacerThis was a first for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the process.  I could have kept going, I was at the tip of an iceberg of possibilities.  Is it cheating?  Only if I pretended it was something it wasn’t.  Is it photography?  It is in my opinion.  Just a very exciting extension of traditional form made possible and very accessible in the digital era.

By the end of this process I was left pondering the question as to why anyone would get up at 2 am to take photographs when 9 am would do.  Any photograph, with some work, can be made to look like it was taken at any time of day.  I can create any mood or atmosphere I like in a photograph and it can all be done from my desk in front of my PC.

I’m very excited about the boundless opportunities that this photographic visual art presents.  One is limited only by one’s imagination and skill both as a photographer and as a Photoshopper.

I know why I get up at 2 am to take photographs however, and that just isn’t going to change.  I’m in love with the landscape I photograph, I love taking pictures of it, I love capturing its many moods first hand.  If I don’t get the photo I want one day, I come back the next.  It’s all part of the challenge and the joy of photography.  There is nothing to match waiting for first light, crouched with your camera, listening as the birds start their dawn chorus.  Waiting and clicking the shutter, composing and readjusting and being 100% immersed in the landscape and absorbed in the process of taking photographs .  For me that beats the hell out of ‘making’ them in a computer.

Porth Nanven

This photograph was taken on a recent dawn visit that I made to Porth Nanven, with fellow blogger Poppy.  Porth Nanven is a beach at the end of the Cot Valley that runs down to the sea at the very western tip of Cornwall.  Porth Nanven is sometimes referred to as the dinosaur egg beach because of the giant pebbles to be found there.  These pebbles are regularly dislodged from the cliff face where they were left 120,000 years ago when sea levels receded.

My new site is up and running and I’m working hard on my Google page rankings.  It’s an uphill struggle in a very crowded marketplace so if you enjoy my photographs, it would really help me a lot if you could give this link a click and have a look around.  Perhaps click on the gallery page, sit back and enjoy a collection of my most successful pictures.  Thank you.  ;-)

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Another from Porth Nanven..

The beach at Porth Nanven is really quite unique. I’ve certainly never visited a beach like it. Large dinosaur egg sized pebbles litter the beach. These have tumbled from the cliff face where you can see other huge pebbles just waiting to fall.

These ‘pebbles’ acquired their smooth surface by being bashed together in violent storms around 125,000 years ago. The present high tide mark at Porth Nanven is much lower than it was 125,000 years ago. An upward tilting of land, following the removal of the ice caps from northern Britain following the last ice age, resulted in the ancient pebbles and rocks being left high and dry. This formed the raised beach which is now the cliff above the present tide mark.

Storms have exposed the vertical face of this raised beach revealing these wave worn boulders and pebbles in a matrix of mud and sand. It’s certainly not a good idea to stand around under the cliff as more giant pebbles could tumble down to join the others on the beach at any time.

I am working on the time lapse tutorial by the way. I should have it posted by Monday or Tuesday! :-)

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Just a few hours left now to vote in the DLR Still Life competition.  Why not drop by and vote for your favourite picture.  You can cast your vote here

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Porth Nanven

I was up at 3am this morning.  I really wanted to catch the early morning light. I packed my camera gear and the all important thermos mug of tea and I was on the road by 3.45.

After just over an hour’s drive I arrived at the small village of St Just.  Here my Sat Nav got a little confused.  It kept trying to direct me down roads that were no more than alley’s, more suited to bicycles than cars, but I finally managed to find my way onto an only very slightly wider road that lead me through the Cot Valley to Porth Nanven. I arrived about a half hour before sunrise..

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Don’t forget, just one day left now to vote in the DLR Still Life Photography Competition.  It only takes a minute! You can cast your vote here.

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