20th to 27th June 2015
I decided to return to St. Ives in Cornwall for the same week as I did last year. The weather and light were kind to me in 2014 so I reasoned it may be the same 12 months later.
It was my intention to revisit Land's End at sunset and a high tide, shoot St. Michael's Mount at sunset and visit a new photographic opportunity - Porthnanven beach.
Land's End at sunset was a disappointment - the clouds were non-existent and sunset was rather boring.
I never even tried St. Michael's Mount as the tide times were always wrong. That will teach me to study the tide tables before I go away.
Portnanven beach, about 20 minutes drive from St. Ives was not a disappointment.
I had read about this before my trip. The beach is covered in small, large and huge granite boulders that were formed on the shores of a beach 120 million years ago when water levels were far higher than they are now. When the waters receded the boulders were left embedded in the dry land and it is only now that the coast is being eroded that they are falling out of the cliff and covering the beach.
This is certainly not a family beach as the final approach is via a very narrow road (named Bosorne Road) from St. Just and, once you are on the beach, the climbing and placing of tripods is very difficult. However, it is well worth the effort for the views of crashing waves, beautifully formed boulders and offshore islands that all combine to make excellent compositions.
Another excellent photography venue I discovered was the Lost Garden of Heligan, near St. Austell. This garden which is spread over 200 acres has been restored to its pre-world war 1 splendour. I had the good fortune to visit when the poppies, planted in 2014 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, were in full bloom.
They covered a large area on the West Lawn and, if they continue to flower each year, I can recommend them to future photographer visitors.
Various buildings at Heligan have been renovated to appear as they would have done 100 years ago. This includes greenhouses, sheds, storage rooms and the head gardener's office. The latter building is very atmospheric and presents a challenge to a photographer with its varying levels of light. Whenever I have visited it it seems clear that it is dressed up like a theatrical exhibit. You can see what I mean from the photo