• Andy Brown

Local Lockdown Landscape Photography...

I hope you like the alliteration on the title above, but even if you didn't, I am sure you will enjoy the images below which are a continuation of the one in my recent News! section. If you read my Bio, you will know that I am Cornwall based, specifically in the St. Austell Area. Local attractions include the world-famous Eden Project which for me is within walking distance./ Then there is Tregrehan Garden, literally just over the road and the often-filmed port of Charlestown a mile and a bit away. There are a range of nearby beaches from the long sandy arc of Crinnis to the muddy sand of Par and its nearby port, to the shingle of Charlestown itself. Spit beach is a small cove about two miles (3Km) away by road, or 1½ along the coast path overlooked by the local golf course and abutting on to Par at the other end. It has sand, rocks and a fantastic view towards The Gribbin Daymark in the distance which in turn overlooks the coves of Polridmouth and Fowey harbour. It sadly also has the unromantic moniker of Dogsxxt Alley acquired from the failure of a small minority of the numerous dog walkers who use it to clear up after their animals. More on that later, but on this occasion I had checked an App on my phone which showed there could be colour at sunrise, so as soon as my morning alarm went off, I looked out of my window and sure enough there was a tinge of red on the clouds. So, I literally jumped into action, gathered camera gear, tripod and warm clothes and headed off. It was chilly, so my thermals, hat and gloves were all essential tools for maintaining concentration. Although I moved quickly, time was short as on arrival in the car-park, colour was already showing well and it was a brisk 10 minute walk with gear on my back to reach the beach itself.

An observation on finding good sunrise/sunset locations in Cornwall might be beneficial here. Broadly speaking (with some exceptions) South Cornwall is good for sunrises and North Cornwall for sunsets. That's just the nature of the geography. Some locations are good for either, but there are so many variables that even with local knowledge, planning and preparation you will be disappointed as often as not.

However, I was prepared and I had the additional luck of the tide going out, intermittently covering a prominent rock that would make an ideal foreground subject. The clouds overhead reflected gorgeous light onto scene the and silhouetted the Gribbin Daymark beyond, framing the image nicely. Now all I needed were some compositions and to make the right choices on exposures. The three images I have selected here are broadly similar to the straight out of camera (SOOC) images with generally subtle editing and are in fact generally toned down in comparison to the originals. These all had a two stop soft neutral density graduated ND filter and a three stop neutral density filter in front of my 16-55mm lens at close to it's widest setting delivering a 2second exposure at f11. This I felt worked as the waves were relatively gentle and this softened them, without removing all trace of movement. I also used a Fuji Provia film simulation which tends to accentuate certain colours. I could have tried to 'correct' this, but I was instead happy to accept the camera's view as it was pleasing to my eye. There is one more photo, but as that requires Photoshop, that will have to come later.

So after a very enjoyable hour which was only shared with two young female swimmers who kept a good social distance from me, I came away happy. However, back to 'Dogsxxt Alley' because the first thing I saw as I reached the cliff path was, yes you've guessed it Dog excrement actually on the path. Nearby was a full Poop bag with the handles tied... Oh dear. I took the bag back to the car park where I put it in the bin. How hard would that have been for the owner now?? The actual Poop I could have stood on in the dark when I arrived. Not good enough peeps, not good enough at all. Oh and I also had to put two more Poop bags plus some beer cans and other general refuse in the bin. Sad.

Anyhow, enough moaning and I hope you like the images. One or more may end up for sale either in Etsy, or here. As ever, thanks for looking, liking or commenting.

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