The Location That Sparked My Passion For Outdoor Photograpy

I have been thinking recently about my transition into Outdoor Photography. It is only recently, maybe the past two years, that I have been focusing more on Landscape / Seascape / Outdoor Photography. (Call it what you will). However, I have always been a great admirer of this type of photography, but much of my early work was London based, Architectural and Urban images.

A short trip to Cornwall in October 2013 gave me a taste of what is so fantastic and addictive about Outdoor Photography. The below image is a re-edit that I made yesterday whilst looking back through the files from this trip, and I remember this shoot with a real fondness. It is shot on the cliff face of Dollar Cove, Gunwalloe, in Cornwall, a place I have been visiting throughout my entire life. I think my parents first took me to this part of Cornwall on holiday when I was only a couple of months old.

dollor cove cornwall winter storm seascape
Dollar Cove, Gunwalloe, Cornwall, during the winter storms of 2013

That week in October 2013 Cornwall was in the midst of "St Jude's" Storm, and as you can imagine it made for some quite fantastic photo opportunities. Late one afternoon, I headed out to this location, a place I know well, being about a 5 minute walk from the Halzephron Inn pub.

I can remember being fascinated by this abandoned boat machinery since I was a child, and wanted to try and shoot an interesting image based around them. This machinery is in fact the winding gear from the "The Brankelow" which was wrecked on this shingle bar on the 21st April 1890. See below image:

shipwreck of the brankelow at dollar cove 1890
The Brankelow, Shipwrecked at Dollar Cove in 1890

At this point, I was a relative novice behind the camera, so I'm not claiming this is an outstanding photo, it's just one that brings back fond memories of a time and place.

What was so special about the shoot for me was that there really was a certain energy and atmosphere in the air. The next part of the storm was well on its way, the clouds were imposing, it was cold and desolate, and I remember absolutely loving it.

I think one of the main reasons for enjoying it so much was the solitude. There wasn't another person in sight on the beach, so I had this amazing scenery all to myself. When shooting in London and other Urban locations, this is of course the opposite, so to have time and space, and above all, peace and quiet was a real game changer. Plus, you can set up a tripod in a location like this and not have to worry about when the next security officer is going to start harrassing you !!

Below is the original edit from 2013. I'm not sure, maybe I still prefer this version. Of course, it is not the exact same file, this image being taken about 20 minutes later, after the sun had set.

Dollor Cove gunwalloe cornwall during winter storms of 2013
Dollar Cove, Gunwalloe, Cornwall, original 2013 edit

I still kept shooting Urban images for a long while after this trip, and I still do when I get the chance, but this trip was the "light bulb" moment when I decided it was Outdoor Photography that I wanted to concentrate on getting better at, and try and build a career around.

Since 2013 I have made numerous trips back to Cornwall, growing as a photographer each time (I hope), and in 2017 I shot my body of work "Fathom", a collection of ICM seascapes that gained an ARPS distinction from the Royal Photographic Society only a few months ago. If I hadn't gone out on that stormy afternoon in 2013 then maybe I wouldn't have caught the bug, and I would be writing a totally different blog post today.

#cornwall #icm #abstract #seascape #longexposure #outdoorphotography #abstractseascape

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