Cornwall simply has to be one of the most picturesque areas in the UK. From dramatic cliffs to beautiful villages, and coastlines to fells, you have plenty of chances for taking great photos in Cornwall. I’m not the first photographer/videographer to think this – many scenes in movies and TV shows have been show in this beautiful part of the world. I recently spent my holiday there, preparing my own studies and still-life portfolios, and thought I’d share some great pointers for your own photography.
The weather along the Cornish coast can be quirky, so check the forecast. It is actually better to shoot on slightly overcast days, because it can soften the lines and eliminate harsh shadows. The clouds act as a diffuser for the natural sunlight, and can contribute to great detail in your shots.
It’s also helpful to understand the effect time of day has on your work. Morning shoots often will have mists and dramatic colors in the sky. Evening shoots won’t usually have mist, but you can have the great Cornish sunsets as the backdrop for your photos. Caution needs to be taken with shots taken early or late in the day, because long shadows may distort the visual image you are trying to produce.
You can find just about any subject matter for your portfolio in Cornwall. For a natural, almost tropical look, check out St. Loy. It’s on the southwest coast of Cornwall, and ranges from beaches to lush valleys. There is a pretty nice hike through the area, and you can get time-lapse shots of waterfalls. You can also get some great panorama shots at Lizard Point.
You can also get great action shots when you are willing to work with some of the local businesses. The Surf School in Cornwall was great about taking me along on kayaking and hiking activities, putting me in position to get some great shots of both nature and extreme cliff climbing. They even got me on a surfboard so that I could get incredible shots from a “fish eye” view. It was great fun to have all of those good-looking surfers showing off for my camera lens!
If you want some beautiful village settings, check out Kingsand and Cawsand. These villages are located on historic beachfront that was once occupied by smugglers. Local fishermen bring in their daily catch, and you can dine on dishes that rival those of the finest restaurants in France. Local produce figures in to the culinary delights, and you can get great shots of the market and vendors, not to mention the beach, surf, and forest.
Tors are rocky outcroppings that usually make the countryside resemble a giant’s nursery, with piles of rocks randomly stacked about. Talk about great shots, you can get amazing play between the smooth texture of the boulders and the detail of surrounding meadow grasses.
There are many more great locations and activities that you can photograph in Cornwall. Just close your eyes, put your finger on the map, and go to that spot.