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.. :-)
Cromer is a small seaside town on the North Norfolk coast. I visited Cromer whilst staying with fellow bloggers Hanne and Klausbernd in Cley next the Sea. Cromer is very popular with families looking for a stay at home, good old fashioned seaside holiday.
There are records of a pier at Cromer dating back to 1391 although then it was more of a jetty. In 1582 Queen Elizabeth I granted rights to the inhabitants of Cromer to export wheat, Barley and Malt with the proceeds to go toward the maintenance and well being of the Pier and the new town of Cromer. In 1822 a 210ft pier was built of cast iron but this structure only lasted 24 years before it was destroyed in a storm. The current pier at Cromer was completed in 1902 and opened to the public. Today the pier has a theatre, bars and restaurants and is a popular place for an old fashioned promenade.
It’s always nice when your work is recognised and I’m really pleased that one of my photos has been chosen for the cover of The Malice of the Waves, a thriller by Mark Douglas-Home which is to be published on the 19th of May by Penguin. My photograph is featured on the hardback edition.
Here’s the book cover..
Copyright Adrian Theze and Arcangel images
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..
I’m really enjoying a break before Christmas in Dorset, only a couple of counties east of Cornwall but so very different. I’m here with Poppy, her BB with Lottie the white German Shepherd. It’s great to be exploring a very different coastline. Dorset is of course famous for it’s Jurassic coast and the numerous fossils that can be found here.
Mary Anning found the first Icthyosaur skeleton at the age of 12 and became quite a celebrity. Despite having no education, she became quite the expert on fossils. Fossils were the family business in Lyme Regis, sold as curios to the wealthy middle and upper classes. Lyme Regis had become a very fashionable holiday location in the late 18th and early 19th Century. This was, to a large extent a consequence of the French Revolution which had made travel to Europe (the preferred destination for people with a bit of cash prior to this time) a little problematic to say the least.
The fossils found here generated a huge amount of interest not least because at the time, the majority in England still believed in creationism and the discovery of the fossilised skeletons of these strange creatures raised lots of doubts about the age of the Earth (a tad more than 2000 years old clearly) and the origin and nature of life on the planet.
The following pictures were taken despite the very grey and largely wet conditions we’re experiencing here in Dorset but then, it is December.. :-)
The picture below shows the back of the fisherman’s college which forms part of the Cobb, the name for the sea wall at Lyme, made famous by Meryl Streep, standing at the end, waiting for her French lieutenant..
It feels like an age since I posted some pictures from Cornwall so here are some pictures I took last evening. As the sun started to go down, it really looked promising so I suggested to Poppy of www.poppytump.wordpress.com (who is visiting at the moment) that we go over to Constantine Bay to watch the sunset. We were not disappointed!
We were not the only ones to head to Constantine Bay. The beach was lined with people just watching and taking pictures with just about every device capable of taking a picture imaginable. This person was happy just to sit on the fence and watch however..35mm f/11 1/6 sec. ISO-100
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 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.. :-)
This is a picture of the wide expanse of Carbis Bay from St Ives in Cornwall. Way in the distance over on the left, you can see the little island that is home to Godrevy Lighthouse, seen a little closer up in my previous post. This was the view that greeted Poppy and I when we visited St Ives following our dawn shoot at the lighthouse. With a bacon, sausage and egg baguette, freshly baked of course, safely put away with a nice cup of tea to wash it down, a little sightseeing in this beautiful Cornish seaside town was in order.
The trip down to the harbour from the car park at the top of the town in my wheelchair was a little fraught given the steepness of the gradients and the lack of let downs at the kerbs. But, we managed it with Poppy providing the required anchorage on numerous occasions. Who needs a roller coaster when you can tour St Ives in a wheelchair? Great fun :-D
Artists have flocked to St Ives for many years to enjoy a very special light, quite unique to the town. St Ives is surrounded by beaches, beaches made up of fine grains of white sand that reflect the sunlight from all sides. The amount that this reflection raises the degree of ambient light above the norm is well documented and measurable. It was as I started to process my pictures I became very much aware of it.
Seeing this little chap down on the beach building sand castles with his Dad reminded me of my holidays in Cornwall when I was a similar age. Such wonderful memories I have and what lovely memories this little boy will also take with him throughout his life. How wonderful is that?! More from St Ives to come.. :-)
Polperro is a small working fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall. Some might say it is the quintessential Cornish fishing village and as a result, receives many visitors each year. The road into the village is so narrow and space so limited that traffic is restricted and visitors are required to park at the top of the village and walk down.
There is a shuttle bus from the car park to the centre of the village and I guess Polperro has become a bit of a working theme park and up until now, for this reason perhaps, I have resisted making the trip. However, with fellow photographer and blogging friend Poppy visiting, it seemed like a good time take a look around. As it turned out, it was a real picture postcard sort of day so here’s a selection of my picture postcards. Click on the images for a sharper, clearer view.. :-)
14mm f/11 1/200 sec. ISO-100
It was a very early (3.30am) start again this morning to capture some photos as the sun came up. Standing on the beach in the dark, not a sound but the waves gently breaking in the distance as the tide was low, waiting for first light, all tension slipping away, I knew I would get a picture. I was again reminded that this is where I want to be. Under these conditions I can really engage creatively with my environment and as the birds started to sing and the first streaks of light appeared in the sky, my shutter started clicking.
We’re enjoying some lovely spring weather here in the UK and given the weather has been so poor the last five years, I feel I must take advantage. This shot was taken at Hawker’s Cove on the Camel Estuary. The village of Trebetherick can be seen on the opposite side of the river. It is at the village church, almost buried amongst the dunes, that the grave of the poet Sir John Betjeman can be found. I hope you enjoy the picture, I certainly enjoyed taking it! :-)
I’ve been involved in a lot of other projects for the last few months that haven’t allowed me to do much landscape photography. It’s easy to forget where we come from creatively and this weekend, it just came to a head, I was forgetting who I was as a photographer. I knew I needed to get back in touch with my roots. I needed to get out there at dawn, stand on a beach in the dark and in a biting, finger numbing cold wind to capture the start of a new day. This is where it all starts for me literally and figuratively. This kind of shoot nourishes my soul and my creativity in a very unique and very special way and it can’t get much better than that.
I went back to basics this morning and reconnected with the environment I love so much in the way I like to do it best, with a camera, a tripod and an empty beach. Despite growing, developing and exploring new areas of my photographic creativity which is how it should be, I needed this. This kind of creative exercise is like going back to your hometown after years away and rediscovering the building blocks that made you the person you are. It never does to lose sight of these things.
At this time of year in these more northerly latitudes, this meant an incredibly early start so this morning, I was up at 3.30, checking equipment and drinking loads of tea before heading out the door and driving towards a location I hadn’t been before, Harlyn Bay. I hope you enjoy the picture.. :-)
Click on the picture for a sharper image.
28mm f/11 1/160 sec. ISO-100
I took a trip to a little beach yesterday that is used mainly by local people and at this time of year, local people exercising dogs. It’s a super little beach and allows superb views of St Austell Bay. There’s a nice stretch of sand with some rock pools at low tide and safe paddling for the little ones. However, access to the beach is gained through a small tunnel under the railway and yesterday, this tunnel was flooded. Using my stick to guage depth, I gingerly started wading but with water threatening to overflow my wellies (rubber boots) with every step, it took a while. But probably because of the flooding, once the other side, there was nobody in sight, despite the half-term school holidays.
From the beach you get a good view of the sea wall that protects Par docks. When I was a child, large ships used to dock here to collect the china clay, dug from the local hills, for export around the world. Par docks is no longer used for the loading of china clay and there are plans for its redevelopment as a luxury marina but there is a lot of local resistance.
I was surprised and shocked to find that as a result of the recent storms, there has been a huge hole punched through the sea defences that protect the docks. The huge chunks of granite that make up the wall, have been in place for generations and weathered countless storms but this winter has been exceptional. The granite blocks lay strewn around, clearly tossed aside as of no significance, such is the power of the sea. :-/
To give some scale to this image, the square block of rock on the right-hand side in the foreground made a comfortable spot to sit awhile..
Of course, being an inquisitive photographer, always on the lookout for the next picture, I naturally had to have a peek through the wall. With a huge effort, I managed to traverse the boulders on my back-side to get a look at a rarely accessed area. This side of the sea wall is off-limits and protected by security fencing and razor wire..
Otto Von Munchow, on his blog In Flow, has today launched the 6th round of his search for the best photoblogs on WordPress. Check out the latest round and vote here. It would be so good if the whole blogging community could get behind this poject to ensure we have a unique, representative and valuable resource to access the best examples of photoblogging out there. If you visit Otto’s blog, you’ll also find links to previous rounds.
Otto has been incredibly generous with his valuable time in going through hundreds of nominated blogs and starting to whittle the list down to a manageable size. The least we can do I think, is visit the blogs and take a couple of minutes to vote. You’ll be treated to some incredible photography.. :-)
This photograph was taken last year on a trip to the dinosaur egg beach, so named for the giant pebbles that litter the beach..
This photograph was taken at Trebarwith Strand. The exposure was 6 minutes turning the crashing waves to smoke. The rising sun can be seen reflecting off the island (known as Gull Island) a couple of miles offshore. I think perhaps the people who named this particular lump of rock, lacked a little creativity.. ;-)
24mm f/22 346 sec. ISO-100
I was down on the beach at first light this morning and, unusually at this time, I was not alone. A fisherman was out in the surf casting for bass. He didn’t catch anything but as we were chatting, I suggested it wasn’t really about the fish though was it? To be out here at dawn surrounded by all this beauty, ‘No’ he agreed, it wasn’t about the fish. If he caught anything it was a bonus and I feel pretty much the same about my photography. If I get a picture it’s a bonus, as it was this morning, thanks in part to my new friend the fisherman and a rather impressive medium format Phase One 645 DF camera, a P45+ digital back and a Schneider Kreuznach LS 28mm f/4.5 Aspherical lens but more about all that another time. For now, I hope you enjoy the picture. I certainly enjoyed taking it. ;-)
28mm f/11 4 sec. ISO-1oo
By the way, my new site, cornwallphotographicsales.com is progressing nicely up the page rankings thanks to all your visits. Please keep visiting though, I’ve a little way to go yet. Just click on the logo and take a look around the site, you’d be most welcome. ;-)
I was on the beach at 4.45am yesterday for a dawn shoot. The surf was probably around 4ft so quite rough and as is the way with the sea, every now and again, and in a very random way, a much larger series of waves would surge in. I know this about the sea of course, I’ve been wet any number of times before, but as the intrepid photographer that I am ;-) I’m always keen to get as close and as low to the surf as possible. I got wet again.
As I set my tripod down, preparing to take another series of shots and with my back turned to the beach while I exchanged a few words with fellow blogger Poppy, one of those much larger waves put in and appearance, soaking me to the waist.
With the wave trying to knock me off my feet, I managed to hang on to the camera and tripod and take a shot. I’m very glad my camera and lens are weather sealed and both came through the ordeal unharmed.
I’ll be posting more (if WordPress fix my feed) from an extraordinary week of photography I shared with fellow blogger, Poppytump, in the coming days and weeks. I’m still having real problems with WordPress so please bear with me…
Chillbrook became a company director this week when Cornwall photographic became Cornwall Photographic Sales Ltd, incorporated on the 29th July. Fed up with sites like Photoshelter, Smug Mug and all the rest taking a disproportionately large share of my photographic sales, I bit the bullet, did a self-taught crash course in PHP and Java to build a commercial site of my own with shopping carts, credit card facilities, SSL certificate and all the other stuff that goes with .com commerce. It’s a scary but exciting step. A bit like letting go of the side for the first time when learning to swim. I should have my portfolio uploaded and product options finalised this week and then the site can go live.
I did take a few hours off yesterday however and set off for Godrevy lighthouse at dawn. I waited for the first light of dawn to illuminate the lighthouse as the sun rose above the cliff to my right. I used a Lee 10 stop ND and a 0.9 hard graduated neutral density filter and a 10 minute exposure to get this shot. This is pretty much how it came out of the camera. The only thing I’ve done is add 1% noise to deal with some slight banding. If you missed the tutorial I did on banding and how to remedy it, you can find that here..
Click on the picture for a clearer, sharper view.. ;-)
I’m still struggling with liking posts and commenting as well as posts not making it to readers. I have an ongoing dialogue with WordPress and hope I can get the problems sorted soon. In the meantime, once again my apologies. I am looking and liking your blogs, I’m just not able to let you know always.
This is one of my favourite spots to take pictures, Wheal Coates, St Agnes, Cornwall. Whether it’s down on the beach at Chapel Porth (this was taken at high tide so no beach) or sitting up amongst the mine ruins, I just love being there.
I get different pictures every time I go as the seasons change or the time of day differs. I guess this is another of those picture postcard type shots. I prefer the brooding, dramatic skies with the surf throwing up mist due to the gale force wind that’s blowing but hey, you take what you get and this weather is just glorious.. ;-)
Oh and just to let you know, the voting is now open in the DLR Urban Landscape Photography Competition. You can cast your vote for your favourite picture here. :-)
I need to apologise for apparently not visiting your blogs lately. I have been, only my presence has not been registering. I liked too many of your posts in too short a time frame apparently. This is what happened. Not wanting blogging to totally dominate every waking hour, I thought I could perhaps spend a few hours, a couple of times a week, going through your blogs, I thought I’d cracked the blog/life equation.
However, WordPress had other ideas. In order to prevent what the ‘Happiness Engineers’ term ‘Spam likers’, you can only press the like button so many times within a given time frame before your like button becomes inoperable and you are labelled – spam liker. How many likes this is and what the time frame is, I don’t know and WordPress aren’t telling me but my like button has been disabled for some time now. I’ve been deemed to be liking you all too much.
I’ve been happily reading your posts and liking them but these likes have been considered spam and have not been registering.
I happen to follow the blogs of a select number of very talented photographers and writers and press the like button to show my appreciation. Why wouldn’t I? And because I do this in the course of a couple of hours rather than popping back every hour or so, I’ve had my like button taken away. I questioned WordPress. I asked if it was the case then that I could only like some of the blogs I follow, ‘Yes’ was the answer. If and when I get my like button back, I don’t quite know how I’m going to choose.
Some of you have been telling me you have been unable to comment or like my posts. Perhaps any likes on my posts have been deemed the result of me liking too many of your posts and that would be why you haven’t been able to let me know what you think lately. Who knows?
Anyway, can’t let all that get me down and I hope you can forgive my apparent absence. It’s still summer here in Cornwall after nearly a whole week of fine days. Unprecedented in recent years. Enjoying the weather, I was on my way back from an appointment with a book binder when I had to stop the car and snap this shot. There will be hoards of sunseekers heading to Cornwall this weekend. This is a clue as to why. No colour enhancement necessary. I feel so privileged to live in Cornwall as followers of my blog will know. Even more so when the sun shines..
24mm f/18 1/60 sec. ISO 100