5th June 2016 – The Rocky Valley

A sunny Sunday morning and Claira has a day off work. Time for a trip to The Rocky Valley

The Rocky Valley - Camera and Campervan

This place has been on my list for a while. The Rocky Valley is a small valley, located between Tintagel and Boscastle, that leads down to the sea. It’s an area of outstanding beauty, with rapid waters and the ruins of an old mill.

The National Trust has a great guide showing where to park and other stuff HERE for anyone interested in visiting. One thing – if you plan to park in the lay-by mentioned, arrive early.

We jump in the van, a quick stop at Cornwall services for a Costa, and we’re on our way.

The Rocky Valley Map - Camera and Campervan
The Rocky Valley Map – Click to open in Google Maps

With the van parked and the dog walked, we cross the road and walk down the drive of Trevillett Mill opposite. A sign to the left of the gate marks this as a public footpath. Half way down the drive, we cross a foot bridge and follow the path down the creek.

It wasn’t long before we reached the ruined mill. This is quite a magical place and well worth exploring. Be sure to see the labyrinth style carvings, believed to date from the bronze age, and all of the small trinkets etc that have been left by visitors.

A Trinket left at the Rocky Valley - Camera and Campervan
A Trinket left at the Rocky Valley (mobile phone image)

We cross another bridge next to the mill. It’s time to get some images.

I climb down from the bridge to get a lower vantage point. The sky is very bright, with the mill and stream in it’s shadows. Not ideal. I set up my tripod and start framing.

The shot I’d like will have the mill in the background, with the water rushing past at an angle. But the light is causing all sorts of problems. I attach my polariser to take the reflection out of the water, then a ND grad to darken the sky, and a ND filter to slow the exposure and show movement in the water. All of this gives me an exposure time of 1 second. I fire off a few shots…

The Rocky Valley - Camera and Campervan
The Rocky Valley

I’m not at all happy with this shot. It was flat, boring and took way more post-processing than I like to do just to get it this bad. Still, this was my first time at this location and I learn’t a lot. I’ll return another day when the light is better and hopefully get it right.

Whilst in the same spot, I decided to try and capture the falls in the background. Switching over to my 24-70mm and armed with a 7 stop ND and remote trigger, I press the shutter….

Rocky Valley - Slow Exposure - Camera and Campervan
Rocky Valley – Slow Exposure

I’m a little happier with this image, but not much.

It wasn’t so much the light this time, it was the angle of the shot. I think this would look much better, taken from further up the stream. The trouble was I couldn’t get any further without being in the water. Maybe it’s time to invest in some waders 😉

Photos taken, we continue down the valley towards the coast. It isn’t long before we come across this view…

The Rocky Valley - Bridge - Camera and Campervan
The Rocky Valley – Bridge

I think the scene above would look great at sunset with the last light beaming through the canyon. Definitely something to try another day.

We continue further to where the valley reaches the sea.

The Rocky Valley - Black and White - Camera and Campervan
The Rocky Valley – Black and White

This is a spot I really want to have another crack at. The black jagged rocks are awe-inspiring, but the light isn’t playing ball today. Black and white it is.

We sit for a while taking in the surroundings, then turn to walk back to the van.

We head to Boscastle. Our plan is to have some dinner, rest for a while, then capture the evenings sunset. Unfortunately the weather turned early evening, covering Boscastle in fog.

With no chance of an image we fire up the van and head for home. Sunset at Boscastle will happen another day 🙂

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

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