Inner Basin – Padstow Harbour, North Cornwall

Early Morning at Padstow Harbour - Padstow, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

Early Morning at Padstow Harbour - Padstow, North Cornwall

Padstow Inner Harbour used to be tidal and would dry out at low tide, but in 1988 as part of a flood defence scheme the inner basin had a tidal lock fitted and the walls of the basin were raised, consequently this part of the harbour is constantly ‘wet’. The benefit for photographers is that practically whenever you visit you can find the basin full of water (subject to maintenance periods when the basin is drained) with a good selection of compositions from which to choose. I arrived just before dawn and as you can see some of the street lights are still on, and are reflected on the water.

This wasn’t exactly night photography but the exposure time was still about 4 seconds, and although there was a little movement in the water causing some blurring the boats remained stationary on their moorings and remain sharp. I especially like the street lights with their starburst halos and the atmospheric nature of the pre-dawn light. This time of day is a magical time, there was hardly a soul around and I was able stroll around the Padstow streets undisturbed, instead of having to jostle with the holidaymakers this popular town attracts.