Porth Nanven – Cot Valley
May 16, 2010 | Landscape Photography | by Michael Breitung
A good weekend for processing photos. It’s quite cold here in Germany and after the trip to Cornwall I really don’t feel like shooting german Landscapes for some days. It’s just too much of a contrast.
So here’s the next photo from Cornwall with a little story behind it. Wednesday the 12th was by far the worst day of our vacation in terms of weather. The forecast suggested it to be getting warmer and dryer by the middle of the week. So we planned a visit to St. Ives to get some nice shots of the harbour.
It looked promising when we left our cottage in Newquay: blue sky and sun. But as we drove towards St. Ives it was getting darker and darker and eventually it started to rain.
Those are the worst conditions to photograph the picturesque town of St. Ives. It was already afternoon, so we got something to eat and then decided to head for Cape Cornwall, which lies 10 Miles north of Land’s End. On the drive there it started to rain even more.
The horizon towards the west though looked clear, which was a good sign for the approaching sunset. Since we had only two evenings left and I still had Porth Nanven, Cape Cornwall and St. Michael Mount on my list for sunset shoots, we tried to get a photo of both Porth Nanven and Priest Cove next to Cape Cornwall this evening.
We went to Porth Nanven first and I quickly got three shots. When we left it was still more than one hour until sunset and already getting a bit crowded there. Porth Nanven after all is one of the most popular photo spots in Cornwall. You can get there by taking the road to Cape Cornwall in St. Just and then turning left towards Cot Valley.
Here’s my favorite photo of the three I took. I think it captures the essence of this place quite well and also shows the last of the bad weather, which cleared up later when we arrived at Priest Cove.
You see all those roundly shaped rocks, which make up most of the coast. Back at the horizon you can see the two rocks called the Brisons, which can also be seen from Cape Cornwall. I will show you a photo from there in another post.
It was a bit slippery getting over those rocks, so it’s always best to have your camera tucked safely in your bag when making your way down. I instantly knew I wanted the moss coverd rock formation to the left in the shot. The lines lead nicely into the picture and it balances the heavy sky. I shot the scene at 11mm at f/13. The focus was on the front and since the rocks are about 1 meter away, this one focus was enough to get everything sharp. As usual the final image is a blend of three exposures to show the complete dynamic range.