29th May 2016 – Misty West Cornwall


It’s a Bank Holiday weekend in Cornwall. A time when I usually go to great lengths to avoid the roads. But not today. Today is sunny….


Sunday, the weather is beautiful and Claira has a day off work. It would be a shame not to get out today. A quick check of the weather forecast for West Cornwall shows it will be lovely all day. Maybe a small chance of mist. Camera bags and dog in the van, off we go.

Traffic’s not great, but it’s been worse. We talk about where exactly to go. It’s a Bank Holiday, everywhere will be packed? We’ll just wing it. A quick stop at a supermarket for supplies, then we head off towards St Just.

I love the road from Penzance to St Just, it’s like stepping back in time. We ponder stopping off a Lanyon Quoit, but it’s mid-day and there’s no detail in the clouds. Not much chance of a descent photo, besides it’s a Bank Holiday….

From St Just we head North towards St Ives. Out of nowhere a thick mist appears. The sun has gone, we can see about 10 metres in front of us. Should have gone to Lanyon, would look great in this mist 🙂

Lanyon Quoit - Near Madron, Cornwall
An old shot of Lanyon Quoit – Near Madron, Cornwall

We decide it’s unlikely we’ll get a good image in this weather, so what do we do? Geevor Tin Mine is close, neither of us have been before, that’ll do nicely.

Geevor is pretty impressive. They have underground tours, but it’s lovely and warm so we decide to have a wander around outside. As we walk further into the complex, derelict mine structures appear through the mist. I decide to attempt a photo. First shot, the sky is blown. I add a filter or two and try again. No detail in the sky at all, just a white sheet. Time to put the camera away and enjoy the walk.

Geevor Fail
Geevor Fail

Then it happens, the mist starts to lift. First a rugged cliff line, then running water down the far side of the cliff, then jagged rocks appear out to sea, a lighthouse is in the distance, surely there’s a picture here?  A day earlier I’d opened an Instagram account, so I figured I’d take a quick shot with my phone to use as a first post. My Instagram is HERE if you want to see it.

Time to get the photo. I have a quick wander looking for a good spot to frame up. The sky is still pure white, so I don’t want to much of that in the shot. There’s a rusty pipe running down the cliff, don’t want that in either. I’ll need a grad filter as the sky is really bright. Would a polariser help? Unlikely, but I’ll try it anyway.

A final framing, check I’m level, check the focus, take the shot.

Pendeen Lighthouse in mist,
Pendeen Lighthouse in mist, taken from Geevor Tin Mine, Cornwall

Now I’m happy. I’ve taken a photo I like (albeit with the rusty pipe 🙂 ). Not the greatest of images, but I’m happy with it. I’m always happy if I can get just one shot I like on a trip out (I learnt that from Thomas Heaton by the way, well worth checking out his YouTube videos in my opinion).

We wander back to the van, take the dog for a walk and have a quick bite to eat. We take the coast road up towards St Ives. I wanted a shot to use at the top of this website, so we stopped off along the road from Gwithian to Portreath. I wanted it to show the van with a nice Cornwall background.

Gwithian to Portreath Road
On the Gwithian to Portreath Road

This will do until we’re in the right place with the right conditions for a better shot. That’s not likely to happen today. Time to take the slow coast road home, then enjoy the last hour of sunshine with a cool beer in the garden.

Thanks for reading my first blog post. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions please post them below. All the best, David.


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