A Cornish Holiday

Taking a look at the British weather of late and firmly believing that misery builds character, myself and a few friends decided to go camping in Cornwall. I was quite excited by the prospect as I'd never been down to that curious little appendage before and I'd always been hankering to take a few photos of abandoned tin mines and the like.  

Well, alas, where we ended up camping there were no tin mines. But I still got a lot of use out of my trusty camera and my two primes. After a borderline terrifying car journey in my friend Potter's rickerty old Morris Minor, we arrived at a cosy little bay called Crackington Haven and pitched our tents.

And then it started raining. And we put the kettle on. And braced ourselves for the worst...

(Click images for bigger versions)


So, er, where's dry out there?

Gale force ten outside, or something.

Eventually the wind died down a little and the sun came out. We elected to hit one of Cornwall's premierre honeypots - Tintagel! Ah... Tintagel. Home of King Arthur and the equally completely real ITV drama hero Doc Marten. Tintagel Castle itself demanded stupid-money to get in, so we decided to caper along cliff-edges instead, before grabbing cream tea and scones. An arguement over Devonshire vs Cornish style - jam on top or underneath the cream - predictably resulted.

Take a step back, Potter. You've plenty of room.

Potter took along his medium format film camera of venerable status. Still waiting on the results.

We followed up by wandering Tintagel Abbey, which housed some beautiful stained glass. The graveyard was suitably atmospheric and weathered too. Naturally, we remembered to walk around the church graveyard widdershins to avoid ancient curses.


Wait. Or was it that we were NOT supposed to walk widdershins? Answers on a postcard, please. 

Memorial Candle.

Then it was back to base for some childish fun on the swings, Roxy leading the way. After a few turns I grew bored and decided to head down to the beach to get some moody shots of waves rushing up, laid flat on my stomach on the rocks and scampering out of the way at the last possible second. Naturally, I got soaked.

Wet. Soaked. So went into the Combe Inn to dry off. It's a neat pub with a tremendous view of the bay. Looking out the great front windows it almost seems as if the sea's about to rush in. So we watched footy and shot some pool whilst drinking some rather nice local beers. Roxy meanwhile lost precious coin from card sharks Potter and Alice. I took advantage of the beautiful diffuse window light to capture some moments.

It really is a splendid pub.

Roxy's legendary poker face.

They let her keep the clothes on her back at least.

Sunset approached. The others elected to head back to cook up some chicken miso soup with noodles in the tent. I decided to stooge around until golden hour to get some photographs of the sunset over the bay. I was particularily excited as the wind was really beginning to whip up and I hoped to grab some good shots of crashing waves.

I've got to give a big shout-out to Lightroom 4 here for their wonderful post-processing application. The D90 and the two primes can still give great results, but spending time to figure out a distinctive look for an atmospheric landscape still pays dividends. Here I used gradient filters to adjust clarity, create greater contrasts between shadows and highlights in the waves before adding a slight colour wash. In my cityscapes and American photography I usually go for muted colours, here I wanted to try something different. Also always remember to create a preset of your settings if you find a style that really pleases you. You might want to use it again.

Stay tuned for the second part of the holiday, where we all dressed up like complete tits and wandered an olde Cornish copper mine village, and one of our party was completely broken by the wind and rain.