Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Falmouth - Photography Week 16 (2017)

I rarely go out these days without taking a compact camera with me and this invariably leads to an assortment of different photographs. Many of these are simple record shots of details that interest me or scenes that I find pleasing to look at.

These are some of the photographs taken on a short visit to Falmouth:


Above the sea wall and near to Gyllyngvase beach is a wonderful bed of Osteospermum (daisy family):

Gyllyngdune Gardens

In front of Gyllyngdune Gardens is the listed Victorian spiral steps leading to the beach. The following images where captured using the in-camera HDR facility:

The gardens themselves were restored in 2011 and in common with the sea front it is neatly planted and maintained. This selection includes the leaves of a hosta, a backlit palm leaf, and close-ups of an agave plant:

At the entrance to the gardens was a carpet of bluebells and three-cornered leeks and this extended to a small patch on the sea front:

Harbour Reflections

In a recent post I shared a selection of Nottingham City canal reflections. I used the same approach at high tide around the harbour in Falmouth.


Gunnera, or giant rhubarb plants, are popular in many of the public gardens in Cornwall. The leaf patterns and textures are great to photograph and work particularly well when converted to black and white:


Finally, a rusty residue from the foot of some sea front metal railings providing a colourful abstract image:

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Towanroath Engine House - Photography Week 16 (2017)

Sitting high the cliffs close to Chapel Porth is Wheal Coates, a former tin mine which includes the Towanroath engine house. The location is absolutely perfect for landscape photography and, despite photographing it many times, there is always a detail either in landscape, or the weather, that makes me reach for the camera.

On this occasion it was a patch of pink thrift positioned nicely on the coastal path which caught my eye. Interestingly though, whilst the composition was obvious, it took a while to line up the shot. Maximising the foreground and getting the positioning of the engine house correct was the challenge. Even slight corrections changed the composition as demonstrated in the following two images:

In the first image the engine house and the clouds sit nicely in the composition. However, the foreground in the second image is far superior but the engine house is little too far to the right and the framing on the clouds is less effective. These are only small margins but they make a difference and demonstrates that whilst the location may be perfect for photography, there is no such thing as a perfect photograph.

When the tide allows, there is an alternative view of the engine house from the beach at Chapel Porth. The standing sea water can be used to add a reflection into the composition:

Of course, the engine house doesn't need to be every shot at this venue. In fact many photographers would deliberately exclude the building and references to location, preferring compositions that are based on shape, form, colour and texture. Photographs with obvious references to locations can be seen as clichéd or postcard photography.

For example, I have removed much of the locational information in the next set of images. The beach compositions are now about the sand patterns and the light. The cliff top image concentrates on colour and relationship between the yellow gorse flowers and the blue sea:

From my point of view, I see photographs which include elements like the Towanroath engine house as landscape standards. The aim is to represent the scene in the best possible way. I also see that landscape photography needs to be progressive and this means challenging the viewer beyond simple references to location.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Rock Abstracts - Photography Week 15 (2017)

Even on a short visit to Falmouth I found time to search the coastline for more rock abstracts. It is one of those subjects where the process of photography is often more important than the results.

The digital age has done much for photography including making it more accessible. However, I sometimes feel that photography has become too results orientated driven by an ever increasing number of competitions, social media likes, favourites, followers, votes etc. As a consequence, some of the simple pleasures of photography get overlooked. In the case of rock patterns in Falmouth this includes: being at the coast; going for a walk; looking and seeing colours, patterns and textures; and capturing them with a camera: