19 Nov Driving with Hertz. My first full day photo tour.
Ever since I started thinking taking a trip to Cornwall, Dorset, Devon and other places in the UK a thought popped in my mind.
What if I go on a half day or a full day photography tour?
How would it be? Would it improve my technique? Would it cost too much?
So having all of these questions in my mind, and others, before reaching England I started, out of curiosity, to look for day tours in Cornwall. Not the regular guide stuff but photographing tours.
Now, I must confess, I did look for something pretty difficult since I was looking for someone to guide me and show me around the area, to help me see as many places as possible, to know a lot about photography, to have a 1 on 1 day tour and not cost me a fortune.
So after looking for a while and surfing the web I sent three emails to three different persons asking them about availability and prices.
One of them never answered and I started talking to one photographer, asking questions about the area, means of payment, prices, best routes, etc.
Communication was easy right from the start even though I asked for a lot of details about the route and the things that I can visit during that day.
Upon completing a form we decided about the date and means of payment and all I had to do on that day was just to bring my camera, tripod and whatever gear I had with me on my trip.
As an extra I got asked if I booked any accommodation or if I needed some help, recommendations about places, booking some room, etc.
Before starting and dwelling more into the subject you can rest assured if you don’t have or you can’t bring your own tripod or some filters. This photographer’s toolbox is great and I’m sure he can help you with anything you need, equipment related.
On that Sunday morning Ken from Photograph West Cornwall picked me up from my accommodation and we spent the day together visiting many amazing places in Cornwall, talking about cameras and the passion for photography(and other things also) and taking great pictures along the day.
Ken is really the kind of guy you want on your corner when photographing a beautiful area like Cornwall.
And that is not only because of his extensive photography experience (over 45 years of it) but also because of his in depth knowledge of the area along with additional information about specific places you’ll see on your way.
I can assure you, you will not get bored on your day or days with him.
I only booked for one day but checking his site you can see that he can offer longer workshops, based on your needs and things that you desire to see/photograph.
Alongside Ken I had the following route on that Sunday: Mousehole, Merry Maidens, Penberth, Porthcurno, Land’s End, Botallack, Sennen Cove,Lanyon Quoit, Cape Cornwall, Porth Nanven and St Michael’s Mount. I double checked with Ken and looked over my pictures a few times and it still feels I miss one place that I visited on that day.
On first look it may seem a whole lot but I had Ken along and his knowledge of the best places, angles to shoot the places, etc.
Even more important, having Ken as your guide brings three huge advantages (over the obvious photography one) and those advantages are:
- You’re not paying for parking. It might seem like a joke but trust me. Seeing 10 places in a day can add up to almost 50 pounds. Just for the parking.
- No fuel spent. Seeing many places, running between them will bite in your fuel tank. So that’s another saver for you.
- You don’t waste time with your GPS, your navigation, etc. Ken knows the fastest ways to reach point B from point A and that alone is worth so much.
When it comes to photography here is how things stand. One thing I watched over the sites of photographers in Cornwall was their quality of image, their structure, composition, etc. And frankly I enjoyed Ken’s pictures the most. You can see some sample images on his site or you can check his Facebook account for more and more pictures, pictures taken during his workshops.
When it comes to camera and gear you can’t ask for a better person. Working for more than 40 years in the field you can see the genuine love that Ken has for photography.
And this is really important for me. Not taking tours or workshops for any reasons but someone who goes on his own, explores, shoots in all conditions, in all types of weather, who tries to catch as much as possible the beauty of this area.
Both his preservice and after help is great. I exchanged emails with Ken after the day, asking advice about filters, lens selection and others and I found his answers very detailed so I was able to purchase some of the things I wanted(for the rest I’m just waiting for more money to come in).
During our day together we talked about a huge amount of things like lens selection, leading lines, rule of thirds, best apps to help you on your photography, depth of field, composition, taking care of our gear, best settings for different scenes and more. And that is just about photography.
So trust me on this one. I honestly think that what he offers is an amazing package from which you will benefit on multiple planes. Not only because of his photography skills but also because he is the kind of guy you’d love to sit for hours at a beer and chat about things. Though I’d suspect you’d rather hike with him thru Cornwall and see the beauties of this land.
What I will do bellow is run you quickly thru the places I’ve photographed on that day and the pictures I enjoy the most from that day.
First stop on that that and a great intro. Mousehole is a small delicate harbor and it is well worth a visit if you plan to visit the area.
There are no must see here so just take your time, walk around the harbor, enjoy the quiet, the boats floating on the water and just relax. You’ll have a long day ahead.
The UK is filled with places like this. Ancient rocks, circles, stones that stood time, strange formations dating hundreds if not thousands of years back.
Make sure to stop for 15 minutes at this place where you can move close to the stones without fences or chains between you and them.
One of my favorite places from the trip. And can you guess why?
Because of the people. As you will see I uploaded two pictures to this places because I loved it here.
Penberth Cove itself is a small, remote, quiet place.
A traditional port it still is one of the last remaining fishing coves in Cornwall with a handful of local fishermen still making their living from fishing for mackerel, lobster and crab.
And two things I loved best here. Seeing the boat full of fish moving towards the small cove and the smile and joy of an old fisherman as he was working on that day’s catch.
Don’t miss this place!
Porthcurno is a beach, a lovely beach. It is one of the places that I’d love to get back to in Cornwall and look for more angles, more places to photograph, more to see.
On the cliffs to the west of Porthcurno is the world famous Minack Theatre. And please click on that link because it is worth it.
Most certainly one of the trip’s highlights. It is an impressive place, a dream for photographers and this place certainly deserves a day visit as well as an evening one.
There are a dozen places from where you will be awed by the scenery and reach for your camera so give this place some extra time.
I included two pictures here as well but I could have added more for sure. Look at them and think how good these places would look with heavy clouds, on a sunset, early morning, on a rainy day or even when snowing.
And this is the beauty of Cornwall. It looks great regardless of the weather. It is just a place that you can visit anytime and never be disappointed.
Now this place is Part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and Poldark filming location.
If you never heard of Poldark take some time and google it. It is all filmed in Cornwall and by watching it you can see the beauty of this place. Maybe it will give you that extra boost needed to buy the tickets and see these places with your own eyes.
This is the place where the famed Crowns engine houses cling to the foot of the cliffs and trust me it is an impressive sight.
My honest belief is that this place is a must on your Cornwall trip so make sure you save some space in your agenda for it.
You can definetly stop for 15 minutes here and enjoy the boats on the shore on this little cove.
I did and I got some pretty pictures out of it so I was definitely happy.
Strange old rocks? Check. Lanyon Quoit deserves a quick stop on your route.
Since this place stands here since the Neolithic period (3500-2500BC), predating both the pyramids in Egypt and metal tools, I’m guessing you will enjoy it as much as I did.
I know I have written about this place on the first day but I really enjoy this picture so I will mention this place again here.
We tried to reach the small island before tide but got surprised halfway by the water coming in so we took some great pictures from a safe distance.
If you didn’t click on the link from this place do it now. You’ll enjoy seeing the differences between low tide and high tide.
Now, I must confess I didn’t have this on my list of things to see but Ken drove me here and I have to thank him for this.
This place is great both for photographers and for bird sightseeing so if you see people with long, big lenses on their shoulders hiking that’s your clue.
There’s a small free parking place close to the place where I took this picture and to be honest this is a place where you can shoot magnificent photos. The clouds were heavily gray at that time but imagine coming here for long exposures, sunset pictures or on days with beautiful clouds.
This place will look amazing but please do take care. The rocks can get a bit slippery so watch your feet and have fun.
Not far from Porth Nanven if you look in a straight line but driving on those little twisted roads can seem like you’ve drove so much from one point to the other.
Cape Cornwall is nice place. From the paid parking lot you’ll walk just under two minutes until you can start shooting some pretty pictures so I guess you can add this place also to your list.
Before closing the post I must tell you that there are things you must try once.
Maybe you’re not a fan of photography, maybe you don’t want to learn how to take better photos or talk about photo gear. And that’s ok.
But I think the most important thing of my tour was meeting a man who enjoys this as much as I do. A man, a local that can guide you thru this beautiful area And trust me, even though it may seem simple to search for things on the internet and make a list of places you will surely miss some pretty special places. And he knows them. And it would be a shame not to take advantage of this thing.
All in all that day turned out perfect. I got some pretty neat pictures, exchanged a lot of info with a professional photographer and saw many beautiful places in Cornwall.
As a result I highly recommend booking his photography tour while in Cornwall.
You won’t regret it.
I know I don’t.