Breakers at Northcott Mouth Beach

Breakers at Northcott Mouth Beach, Northcott Mouth, Bude, North Cornwall

Breakers at Northcott Mouth Beach, Northcott Mouth, Bude, North Cornwall

It looks like our Indian Summer is set to end this week, so I hope you took advantage of it over the last week and got out there to enjoy it. Here’s an image taken in the late summer to remind you.

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From the Coastal Path – Northcott Mouth, Near Bude, North Cornwall

From the Coastal Path - Northcott Mouth, Near Bude, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

From the Coastal Path - Northcott Mouth, Near Bude, North Cornwall

This is Northcott Mouth, situated to the north of Bude on the North Cornish coast. This fine beach has many attractions for the holidaymaker including good surf, a sandy beach and rock pools to explore, though it should be noted that all these are more evident when the tide is out as in this picture. At high tide the beach is obscured and at the top of the beach there is a large boulder shelf which makes walking difficult. However if you find yourself here at full tide you can take advantage of one of Cornwall’s greatest assets – namely the Cornish Coastal Path. For those unfamiliar with the coastal path it is part of the South West Coastal Path which is about 630 miles long and starts at Poole in Dorset on the south coast, runs down to Lands End, then turns northward to finally end in Minehead in Somerset. I have found the path to be a rich source of imagery and this site contains many examples of photos taken while walking this path. If you haven’t tried it before or are new to the area then I can thoroughly recommend you try it. Grab yourself a map, or better still a guide book to this coastline and start planning an excursion and prepare to be amazed !

This picture was taken while on a walk from Northcott Mouth to Bude, a distance of about a mile and a half of easy walking. Starting from the National Trust Car Park I gained immediate access to the path and after about a quarter of a mile spotted this view looking back towards Northcott Mouth. I set the tripod up on the edge of the cliff which overlooks the beach, composed the shot and took this image. The ebb tide had revealed the sandy beach and the rock formations typical of this area. I continued on my walk at a leisurely pace arriving at Bude where I had a scrumptious cream tea at a little cafe on the quay and returned later in the evening to capture some sunset shots. All in all a lovely day out.

To see more images from my Northcott Mouth Gallery – Click Here

Rocky Foreshore – Northcott Mouth, Near Bude, North Cornwall

Rocky Foreshore - Northcott Mouth, Near Bude, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

Rocky Foreshore - Northcott Mouth, Near Bude, North Cornwall

The square format image is not seen so often these days, at least not as much as it used to in the days of film. Modern digital cameras always produce a rectangular image, usually in the ratio of 4:3 or 3:2. Why this should be I can only hazard a guess, but I believe it is most likely because nowadays practically all visual media is presented this way – from a magazine or newspaper which is usually in a vertical portrait format to your widescreen TV – even the screen you are looking at right now is a rectangle. During the film era you could use 6 x 6 cm films, 2.5 x 2.5 inch or near square such as 6 x 7 cm. With the advent and rise in popularity of 35mm film the rectangle as the format of choice for most photographers was set.

So why did I make this a square image, well here I have to admit that I didn’t start out with that intention, it was only at the processing stage that I thought it could work with this image. The photograph as downloaded was of course a vertical rectangle, but the area at the top was occupied by an area of sea with the setting sun in the centre. I decided that this didn’t add anything to the mood I was trying to convey and I would rather the viewer concentrate on the interplay of the light on the waves, rocks and sand and the textures of these elements rather than on the source of the light. I think I have succeeded in achieving what I set out to do. Hope you like it too.

Last Light – Northcott Mouth, Bude, North Cornwall

Last Light - Northcott Nouth, Bude, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

Last Light - Northcott Mouth, Bude, North Cornwall

This image could probably have been taken at any west facing coastal location, but in fact was made at Northcott Mouth which is situated about a mile north of Bude on the North Cornish coast. There are no visual clues to help you, and therefore no distractions. Taking a picture of the sun before it dips below the horizon and avoiding any hint of flare is quite difficult and the conditions that allow you to achieve this happen infrequently. You will notice that there is a dark band stretching along the horizon which is a bank of hazy cloud, but is not quite thick enough to obscure the sun. As the sun gets lower in the sky it has to cut through more of the atmosphere, light is scattered, and the colours turn from yellow to orange to red and because the atmosphere is hazy the colours can pervade the whole of the sky. This is what has happened in this image giving me a very satisfying shot. I deliberately kept the composition simple with just the orb of the sun in the centre, the horizon cutting across the image about two thirds up and the foreground occupied by a breaking wave. I was pleased with the way it turned out, and it has fired my imagination to try some more abstract sunsets where colour is the dominant compositional element.

Click Here to see more images from Northcott Mouth