From the rugged moors of Carn Gowla to the stunning coastal scenery of Lands End, West Penwith and the north coast of Cornwall offer many photographic opportunities. The scenery is breathtaking, the wildlife is plentiful, and the light is magical. Steeped in mining history and feeling the full force of the north atlantic weather sytems, the coastline is rugged and wild. Whatever the season there is always something to photograph, and with the sun setting straight into the sea the landscape is often illuminated in a glorious golden light. What more could you ask for from a photographers point of view?
The South coast is not as wild and offers good opportunities for photographing at sunrise, particually in the winter. With harbours, fishing boats and of course St.Michaels mount there is plenty to start the day with. During winter it is possible to photograph at both sunrise and sunset on the Lizard peninsular which allows us to make the most of the stunning winter light.
For the wildlife photographer Cornwall offers a wide range of habitats each with a distinctive flora and fauna. The tidal mudflats are an excellent place for seeing wading birds, with many species overwintering here before they return to the Arctic in summer. The sea cliffs offer prime nesting sites for an abundance of sea birds and the Cornish choughs can also be seen and heard if you know where to look. Some of the sand dunes are the largest to be found in Britain with a fascinating range of different species of plants all adapted to survive in this challenging environment. Cornwall has always been a popular place for bird watchers as migratory birds stop over on-route to winter feeding grounds and storms sometimes blow birds rarely seen in Britain off course onto the peninsular.
Each location will be best at a specific time of year, and tides, swell and wind direction also play a role in deciding where to go. This is where my experience and local knowledge really help to find the best locations to visit throughout the year.
Most locations are easily accessible, whatever your level of fitness and ability there is something to suit everyone. Should you want to be a little more adventurous and explore some of the remoter parts of West Penwith I am more than happy to oblige. A dawn start on Carn Gowla may seem like a struggle to get out of bed early for but it can be well worth the extra effort.