We took a week long journey around the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles of Skye and Mull in our VW Campervan. I brought my Fujifilm X-T3 and three zoom lenses, my wife and my dog! We camped in Murkirk south of Glasgow, Glen Nevis, Dunvegan (Skye), and Salen Bay (Mull). I took photos at Loch Lomand, Glencoe, Eliean Donan Castle, The Old Man of Storr, Neist Point Lighthouse, Fairy Glen, Dunvegan, and Tombermory. In the video I cover my kit, the routes taken, the sites camped, the cheapest place for fuel, and the costs for everything.
Last year I challenged myself to use just a single camera, a single lens and a single film simulation when I visited London as it was just coming out of lockdown. All the pictures were shot in monochrome which suited the sombre mood of the Capital. In this video I give myself the same challenge but using a colourful film simulation Velvia on a recent summer visit to St Ives in Cornwall. I spent the day walking round the town looking for interesting things to photograph. Watch the video to see how I got on.
video goes live at 18:30 on 12/8/2022
I have been asked to talk about photography in Cornwall on BBC Radio Cornwall and thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures I have taken.
Here are some things you might want to consider to make the best of your photography opportunities in Cornwall
For me, I like to find some peace and solitude so I seek out places that are perhaps a little less busy than the main tourist hotspots. You can find these by walking half a mile along the coast from most villages and you’ll usually find you have the location to yourself. Also if you want to shoot the most photographed locations, go either early or late. Remember some of the best light is before the sunrise or around 20 minutes after sunset.
Here are some of my favourite places
- Cape Cornwall
- Land’s End (Half a mile in the opposite direction to Sennen)
- St Ives (esp. Porthmeor and Porthgwidden)
- The mines at Chapel Porth and at Botallack
- Marazion (St Michael’s Mount)
- Mullion Cove
I love the old fishing villages of Mevagissey, Port Issac, Polperro, Padstowe, and, of course, St Ives. Go early to capture fewer people and better light.
Capturing the scene
Virtually all cameras and most phones these days are capable of taking outstanding images. Here are some ideas to think about.
- The best light (and therefore best images) is usually at the beginning and the end of the day. Blue skies are wonderful to enjoy but blue skies in the middle of the day can make for somewhat harsh images.
- A sunrise/sunset doesn’t make a great picture in and of itself. Think about some foreground interest
- Check the tide times on an app like “My Tide Times” and if you not sure about how to find a location/parking area, look at Google Earth.
- Sometimes the best light and views are behind you. If you are looking at a sunset, the light from the falling sun will be making beautiful golden light on the things behind you.
- In addition to taking big vistas, take pictures of small details that give the flavour and tell the story of your visit to a location (doorways, fliower pots, cobbles, steps, sand, shop windows, people).
- Remember to capture your group – you’ll be pleased you have a picture of your granny in years to come.
- A tripod can be useful if you want to capture moving water (waves – a 0.5 second exposure can be very pleasing). You might need to adjust your camera to make this happen.
- Try using a wide aperture (the lower the “f-stop” number the wider the aperture to make backgrounds out of focus to make your subject stand out)
- Move about (up/down/left/right) to find the best composition – small changes in where you shoot from can make big differences to the image
Using filters/editing software to bring the best out of your image
Phone apps like Snapseed and VSCO and even Instagram have some great features to edit and improve your image. Be careful as a little editing goes a long way. I prefer to edit carefully so the final image looks natural.
- Correct the horizon
- Lift shadows to bring out details
- Reduce highlights if you have a very bright sky.
- Add some contrast (this also adds more colour)
Can a single body, a single lens and a single film simulation drive your creativity? In this video I picked my FUJIFILM X-T20, a single FUJINON 27mm f2.8 lens and the MONOCHROME+R film simulation to tell the story of a day out in London at the end of June 2021 as the city began to come out of lockdown and personal restrictions were beginning to be lifted. The choice to restrict my gear meant that only choices I had to make were those of subject, composition, and aperture (I was shooting in aperture priority with ISO set at 400).
I got up ridiculously early to head down to Porthcurno to capture sunrise. I got there early enough that I caught some stars before the sun rose. Below is some of the images I captured on a beautiful morning of photography, peace and tranquility.
At the beginning of April 2021, as UK lockdown#3 began to lift, I headed for the nearest coastline from my home for a grey, pre-dawn photoshoot, with my FujiFilm X-T3, and shooting b-roll with my brand new DJI Pocket 2. I made some long exposures of Cobbold’s Point at high tide, some ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) studies of the beach, and some beach hut “street” photography.
We had quite a heavy fall of snow at the weekend. I loved the juxtaposition of the daffodils breaking through heralding the break of spring with the wintery conditions in our local park.
A new video just out. I shot a couple of pictures this morning on a very misty day. I also make a clumsy analogy about golf (which I don’t play) and discuss what I and other photographers get out of photography. Oh, and I a make a cup of coffee.
A shoot at this fantastic location at the north end of Felixstowe.