Dusk – Sharrow Point, Whitsand Bay

Dusk, Sharrow Point, Whitsand Bay, Rame Peninsula, South East Cornwall

Dusk, Sharrow Point, Whitsand Bay, Rame Peninsula, South East Cornwall

Taken at high tide when the beach at this location is virtually non-existent. In fact I was penned up in an area about 2 yards square, but nevertheless I was able to take about 20 different images as the sun dipped below the horizon, of which this is one. Hope you like it.

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Sunset – Trebarwith Strand, Near Tintagel, North Cornwall

Sunset - Trebarwith Strand, Near Tintagel, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

Sunset - Trebarwith Strand, Near Tintagel, North Cornwall

Ah Sunsets – don’t you think that it’s just a perfect time of day, the only thing is it doesn’t happen every day. Actually that’s wrong, it does happen every day – of course it does, and next day the sun rises. No what I mean is it isn’t ever day you get a sunset that is worth making as an image. Sometimes you get set up in your chosen location in plenty of time anticipating the colourful scene you are about to capture, only for the sun to disappear behind a bank of thick cloud on the horizon destroying any chance of capturing the sunset. Sometimes there is not a cloud in the sky and all you get is a band of colour on the horizon. So what do you need to capture a good sunset – I think the first requisite is some clouds, not too thick or the sun won’t penetrate as it gets lower in the sky. Failing that a hazy atmosphere can be helpful as it causes the sunlight to scatter. This image benefited from a hazy sky, the sun was setting just off to the right of the frame but the glorious reds and oranges were permeating through the sky. So I’ve got the right sort of sky, what else do I need – well a nice scene would be good, a place where I have some good foreground detail and where I have a point of interest. Trebarwith Strand is a good location for this as there is the iconic Gull Rock offshore and at high tide you have a shelf of rocks to give you your foreground interest, as well as a good platform on which to plant your tripod. One other piece of advice – turn up early and stay late. If you arrive late at this location on a day when there is likely to be a good sunset you might have trouble trying to pitch your tripod for all the other photographers who have gathered there – it’s a popular location. I’ve seen some people pack up as soon as the sun disappears below the horizon. This can be a mistake as sometimes the best colours appear after the sun has gone down, as in this picture – this image was made about 20 minutes after the sun had gone down, moden digital cameras have such amazing light gathering properties that you can continue shooting even though it appears to be getting dark. That’s all for today, but tomorrow see if you can bag your own sunset image.

To see more images from my Trebarwith Gallery – Click Here

Sunset at Porthcothan Bay, Near Padstow, North Cornwall

Sunset at Porthcothan Bay, Near Padstow, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

Sunset at Porthcothan Bay, Near Padstow, North Cornwall

Pothcothan Bay is situated about midway between Bedruthan Steps and St Merryn on the B3276. There is a good sized car park together with the usual beach facilities. The bay faces approximately WNW and so the best time to get a good sunset shot is from May to July. This image was taken in March so the setting sun is not in evidence, but the colours reflected in the sky make up for it. The image was taken on the coastal path which leads out from the head of the beach and will eventually take you to Park Head. The low evening sun has caught the headland beautifully and I love the gorgeous oranges, pinks and yellows in the sky. I must remember to make a note on the calendar to catch a midsummer sunset at this location.

Sunset – Helman Tor, Redmoor, Bodmin, Mid Cornwall

Sunset - Helman Tor, Redmoor, Bodmin, Mid Cornwall (David Carvey)

Sunset - Helman Tor, Redmoor, Bodmin, Mid Cornwall

Helman Tor is a rocky outcrop situated to the south of Bodmin which has a commanding view from the summit. To the south lies the china clay workings at Bugle, while to the east lies Redmoor and to the north Bodmin. This location stands adjacent to The Saints Way, a walking route that runs north to south of the county largely through the rural landscape. After having a nose around Breney Common, a Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserve that lies below Helman Tor and is worthy of a more concentrated shoot one day, I returned back to the car, parked close to the summit. The sun was beginning to set and I thought there might be a chance of some decent sunset shots, of which this is one. As usual the camera was set up on the tripod facing west but with a graduated neutral density filter covering the sky area of the image to retain some detail in the foreground. I was treated to a wonderful light show that evening, the colours varying in hue from oranges to pinks to reds, in fact I think for a photographer there is nothing more satisfying than a good sunset

To see more images from my Helman Tor 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.

Sunset at Minions, Bodmin Moor, South East Cornwall

Sunset - Minions, Bodmin Moor, South East Cornwall (David Carvey)

Sunset - Minions, Bodmin Moor, South East Cornwall

I had been trying to get a sunset picture at this location for some time, but after a couple of fruitless attempts had all but given up. I visited the Minions area to gather some more pictures for my stock library and had a busy late afternoon and evening shooting around Minions, The Hurlers and The Cheesewring. I was on my way back from The Cheesewring that I noticed that the sky and clouds were starting to present the ideal conditions for a sunset image, and I was not to be disappointed. As I started to approach The Hurlers I noticed that a number of people had started to gather round the stones. I later learned that they were a group of photographers out on a club evening shoot, but as I didn’t want any people visible in my shot I set up a little further away from them.

The shot was fairly straightforward in that I wanted the majority of the image to be concentrated on the sky as the colours I was seeing were fabulous. I attached a graduated neutral density filter over the lens to cover the sky area and boost the exposure of the land. Taking a rural sunset as opposed to a sunset at the coast is more problematical in that there is very little reflected light from the land so the exposure was a little difficult, so once imported into Photoshop I boosted the levels of the land area a little. I think the image achieves what I set out to do, but let me have your thoughts.

To see more images from my Minions and Caradon Hill Gallery – Click Here

Sunset – Trevone, North Cornwall

Sunset - Trevone, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

Sunset - Trevone, North Cornwall

Trevone is a popular holiday destination on the north Cornish coast just west of Padstow. It has a lovely west facing beach, but the location for this shot was a little west of the main beach. Having previously scouted the area I had settled on this spot as having the the best mix of elements for the shot I had in mind. There is a substantial slate shelf that forms the foreshore at this point, so my tripod was firmly planted which I would need for the technique I was going to use. After composing the image and setting the focus I fixed my 10 stop neutral density filter to my wide-angle lens set to 25mm. The resultant exposure was 2.5 seconds at f16 which would give me adequate depth of field and the shutter would be open long enough to blur the waves in the foreground. This is the resultant shot.

The 10 stop neutral density filter is a beast as I bought the largest diameter version to cover all my lenses with the use of stepper rings to adapt it to each lens. For those not familiar with this accessory it comprises a round piece of optical glass which looks almost black and when looking through the viewfinder you can hardly make out anything, it is so dark. The point of this is that the filter cuts out a lot of light and extends the time the shutter needs to be open to capture anything, and the longer the shutter is open the more movement is blurred. Originally used for looking into the depths of blast furnaces the filter is strong enough to cut down the extremely bright light emanating from the furnace. It has been adapted for photographic purposes and now is widely used as a creative device placed between the subject and the lens. What is meant by 10 stop, well put simply it means that a shot that would need 1/4 second of exposure normally would need 4 minutes with this filter. With the length of time the shutter is open in this example any movement becomes blurred, and if the shutter were open long enough a person walking in front of your camera would not even register on the image. If you are interested in this type of filter have a look at this page for information and comparative reviews.

Click Here to view more images in my Trevone Gallery