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Entries in Cornwall (4)


20/02/13 Cornwall

A trip that started off as an aviation trip to catch the USAF HH-60G Pave Hawks from the 56th RQS turned into a bit of a landscape trip after photogrpahing them off the cliffs of Cornwall, albeit to far away. At the end of the day, the walk back to the car took us past Gunwalloe Cove as the Winter sun was setting. Seeing the light unfold, a few of us decided to hang on for sunset.




The rocks turned golden and then the sky went pink. A true Winter sunset was unfolding infront of us in this beautiful part of the World. We had the beach to ourselves and with nobody to get in the way of the camera could explore this dramatic cove with its towering, jagged rock formations that stretched out into the sea. 




It was great to do some more landscapes in Cornwall, even it wasn't the primary objective for the trip down there. The downside is the sheer distance I'll have to travel to visit this beautiful place again!


25/07/12 Sunrise at St Michaels Mount

This place is to Cornwall as is what the Houses of Parliament is to London. Iconic. People instantly know where it is with no introduction needed. We had limited time in Cornwall but really wanted to get some interesting shots of this location as it'd be a while until we return. The plan was to head over here after finishing up at Sennen but the tide was still too far in. Sunrise came and showed the full extent of the situation of the tide, it'd gone all the way out unfortunately but nevertheless this was the only chance to get some shots in interesting light. After starting out on some slippy rocks, a Dutch man joined me and before long the sunlight was appearing over the tops of the Cornish moors and casting a golden colour over St Michaels Mount.



Soon a major problem occurred, whilst both me and the Dutch man had been busy photographing we had paid no attention to the tide that had been edging further and further inland and we were no completely cutoff from the beach and causeway by a foot of water. So with jeans rolled up, camera bag on, boots in one hand and tripod in the other I waded knee deep through the cold sea water to the causeway, just in time for the foreground to explode with a burst of golden tones from the sun that had just lifted above the moors.



It was great to discover somewhere which I've never visited yet have always wanted to and I know that it won't be too long before I'm back exploring the rocky cliffs and rugged coastline.


24/07/12 Part 2: Stormy Sennen

In this glorious weather a trip to the beach was in order, so with a bit of time to kill before dinner we headed off a little area known as Sennen Cove in West Cornwall. The beach went on for miles, sandwiched between two massive cliffs at each end. The tide had been coming in all afternoon and high tide was due to be around 9.15pm, we came back after dinner to shoot the incoming tide that was battering the coastline and Sennen's sea-wall as the sun was setting, throwing soft yet vibrant colours into the Cornish sky. 


 When it came to shooting into the setting sun, the LEE filters became invaluable. It took away the need to blend multiple exposures in post processing which saves time, image quality and gives a much more natural finish to the image. I took the shot above using a 0.6 strength graduated filter combined with a 0.6 neutral density filter. This permitted a long enough exposure time to get the "mist" effect as the waves crash through the pebbles whilst the graduated filter held back the colour and light in the sky to allow for a perfect exposure.

Fast forward twenty minutes. The sun has dipped below the horizon but the sky still retains those pastel colours. However, unlike the previous image, the intensity of the light and colours has disappeared with the sun. This meant the graduated 0.6 filter was no longer needed as there was no intensity to hold back. The only filter I left on was the 0.6 neutral density. This is just a plain grey filter. It doesn't change the colours and doesn't have a gradient to it. The sole purpose of this filter is to allow for longer exposure times when shooting things like waterfalls or the coast. I left this on to allow me to get the longest exposure time as was possible to blur all definition out of the water and get the desired misty effect.



It should be said that shooting coastlines can be dangerous. On a couple of occasions I was lucky not to have my camera damaged by the saltwater, which can scratch the lens and filters and even luckier to have not been swept off the sea-wall by a huge wave. Never turn your back on the sea, even when you think the tide is going out!


24/07/12 Part 1: Royal Navy Search and Rescue at RNAS Culdrose

Cornwall. A place "only" 250 miles from where I live. Scottish Highlands, 330 miles from where I live. So why have I visited the Highlands 4 times in my life and never even set foot in Cornwall? Well with an absolutely scorching forecast predicted of nothing but sun, it was time to visit this part of the country that is alien to me. With some quick arranging with a friend and messages exchanged with our contact we'd planned what we were going to see and do and managed to get a short but informative tour of the Royal Navy Search and Rescue squadron, 771 NAS.

First we were shown around the 771 NAS maintenance hangar where they are checked over after a flight and any problems or damage is rectified or fixed. Whilst one was being worked on we had a brief tour through the Sea King without all of the search and rescue equipment and apparatus onboard before heading out on to a very sunny aircraft pan to see the aircraft above. This aircraft was ready to go on a training sortie or on an emergency shout at a moments notice should a call come in and was full of first aid equipment, a stretcher and apparatus for spinal injuries amongst other things.

771 NAS operate a fleet of these Westland Sea King HU5 to rescue persons off stranded vessels, those involved in cliff falls, divers who suffered breathing problems, those in urgent need of A and E or other emergency treatment from the Scilly Isles and any other medical emergency on the mainland in which land based ambulances or the air ambulance cannot reach.


Two of these Sea Kings are kept on stand-by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to respond in any weather. When they're not out rescuing, they're out training. With a long list of criteria to stay current on, they train regularly around the cliffs of Cornwall, practising winching on to rocks and ships, confined landings on small pieces of land and low level navigation amongst other criteria.

Thank-you to our host at 771NAS for being so accommodating and informative about the work they do.