Cornish Night Sky

Has been a long while since I posted anything here. Not so much because I haven’t been taking photos, quite the contrary, just been a little busy on other projects.

This shot is quite a recent one. I’d been thinking of going out and trying a bit of night sky photography for a while and for some reason I decided to do it this particular night. Turns out I couldn’t have picked a much better night if I’d tried. The sky was as clear as it gets and no moon.

I left the house thinking I’d need the night sky app on my phone to locate the Milky Way. I didn’t, it was actually pretty obvious.

Having read up a little on what settings and kit to use I was fairly confident I knew what I was doing. In reality its a little more complicated – actually trying to compose a photo when you can’t see anything is pretty tricky. I also tried a few shots ‘painting’ the foreground with my torch. I found after just a second of pointing it I’d blown the highlights.

So, here is one of the best of the bunch. This is the engine house at Carn Galva near Zennor under the Milky Way.

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Sunset over Isles of Scilly

Scillies Sunset

On one level I’m not sure the world needs another sunset photo, on the other hand I do like a good sunset! What qualifies as a good sunset isn’t so straightforward. This one actually just fizzled out without turning the world orange. But then those are the ones that I’ve seen too many of – not that that isn’t exactly what I set off to photograph!

Anyway, here we are. A beautiful summer’s evening sky over Blanket Bay on the island of St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly. Beyond those rocks in the distance is America, give or take a few thousand miles…

Mousehole harbour

Mousehole Harbour, Summer

It’s been a while I know. The good news is this is more because I have been busy photographing amongst other things. Anyway, nothing too fancy or creative about this photo. Shot under midday light, which whilst it can be a little harsh is great for photographing shallow, clear water. This photo is actually a crop of a panorama made up of 4 similarly sized photos – I would have posted that but it would have had a letterbox aspect and been too small for this layout.

I do like Mousehole, it is busy in the summer but still relatively unspoiled. On top of that it still has a proper community, which is unusual for picturesque Cornish fishing villages. I don’t know how it has retained any community given the number of holiday cottages and eye-watering house prices, but there we go.

Part of the purpose of this post was to plug a Mousehole based business. Tyler frames are Penzance picture framers run by the brother of respected Mousehole potter Essex Tyler.

Sennen harbour boats

Sennen Harbour

Evening in the small harbour at Sennen Cove in the far, far west of Cornwall. Around the corner is Land’s End and the next stop is the USA.

Whilst Sennen is best known for its mile or so of beautiful beach which has been a magnet for surfers over the last 4 decades, the cove’s history is one of fishing and smuggling. It takes a fairly brave soul to work the seas around the coast here and just behind the harbour is the RNLI lifeboat house crewed by some of the bravest of the brave. The coast around here is notorious for shipwrecks and these guys are in the frontline when it comes to saving lives.

The boat numbers are an interesting mix of PZ (Penzance) and SS (St Ives). I suppose if you follow the coast around Sennen is about half way between the two towns.

Shoreline sunset

Shoreline Sunset

Been a while since I posted anything. Feel like I’ve been busy, but I can’t quite account for my time!

This shot was taken at the end of summer a few years back. I can’t remember where – it was either Gwenver beach or Praa Sands. I took a whole series of photos of sun reflected off sand, sun reflected off waves, sun reflected off foam… that sort of thing.

Housel Bay - The Lizard

Housel Bay

This is Housel Bay, just around the corner from Lizard Point in the far south west of Cornwall. The far south west of mainland Britain actually. The Lizard Point is the southern tip of the British mainland so off the top of my head I’d guess Housel Bay is the most southerly beach in mainland Britain. It is also one of the prettiest with crystal clear azure waters and fine white sand. That water colour seems to be a feature of the Lizard Peninsula as do the eccentric rock formations. I’m no geologist but there is plenty written about the rocks on this stretch of coast.

This photos was a couple of summers ago – we didn’t have a summer last year. It was on the one day we get every summer where the sky is brilliant blue and there isn’t a breath of wind. Few and far between but those are the one’s I try to remember.

Cot Valley - St Just

Cot Valley, Slow Water

Cot Valley cove, Porth Nanven or Dinosaur Egg beach, call it what you will, here it is at the end of a short winter’s day. Situated less than a mile away from the old mining town of St Just and a couple of miles up the coast from Land’s End this is West Cornwall at its most rugged.

I took this photo quite a few years back and it was one of my favourites at the time. I think I was experimenting with grad filters and was happy to lug a tripod around (how things have changed!). I think if I’d taken it now I’d probably have tweaked it a bit more in Photoshop, but I was more restrained in those days.

I’ve always been a sucker for the “slow water” effect you get on long exposures and I’m particularly happy with the way the stream has turned white here giving it a ghostly, ethereal feel.