Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Storm Season

Storm Season is approaching with gale force winds battering the Cornish coastline, i expect the image below to be one of the more tame ones over the next few months!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


I've been struggling to get out and about for the past few weeks.  Partly due to the crap weather and partly due to my degree starting to bite into my free time!  A last minute decision to force myself out in less than perfect conditions saw me arrive at Mullion Harbour just before sunset and struggling to remember where the sun was setting as it tends to move around a bit from summer to winter in this part of Cornwall!  Only one decent image taken:

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Kimmeridge Fight Club!

Another few days in Dorset afforded me the opportunity to have another go at Kimmeridge sans twisted ankle and gashed arm like last time.  The tide was incoming which isn't the best for shooting in this area as more of the interesting stuff is below the high tide mark but i plodded on regardless perked up by what was becoming a better than average sunset (still not great but considering the rest of the weather last week i wasn't going to complain)!  On arrival i was greeted by at least 6 other photographers all sharing the one ledge that was not covered by the tide - great, time to fight the other "pros" whilst waiting for sunset.  I hate this sort of set up as it generally becomes a bit of a penis size contest.  Once getting on the ledge and  a closer inspection revealed that i was in excellent company with at least 2 of the 6 other photographers on the ledge being nationally awarded bods, some serious competition for the optimum space was occurring with all of us juggling for the little space there was as the sun set rapidly.  Two of them binned out almost as i set up leaving me with the 2 pro's and one other.  The other guy left 5 minutes later as i tutted and cursed as he continually stepped in my shots, narrowly avoiding a bollocking!  In comparison the pro's didn't give a shit and were playing the "all's fair in love and war" card - get there early or get the fuck out!  It was by far the most vicious situation i have ever been in when trying to take a landscape shot and the pros weren't budging a bit.  At this point i decided to let them have their moment which they did before going back to the carpark.  A quick change of position and i was ready to go.

Moving up the ledge yielded some interesting compositions that i haven't seen at Kimmeridge before as i normally shoot from further along the beach.

Finally the ledge yielded to the sea and the final shot was taken!

All in all a worthwhile evening out and i'm starting to understand what the freelance paparazzi feel like against the big boys!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Calm before the storm

I was in Porthleven again this week to watch the football but bored sat at home so i  packed my gear and had a little drive down the pier.  The sunset was ok but i was struggling with people standing in my shot, like they missed the guy with the silly hat and a camera on a tripod!  Best of the bunch was the following:

Hopefully i'll soon gather some motivation to go shoot somewhere other than 3 miles down the road!  Oh well, another trip to Dorset tomorrow, we'll have to wait and see what that brings ;)


On Saturday 15th October myself and Phil, my business partner, shot the wedding of James and Kezia at the Porthminster Hotel, St Ives.  It was a good day by all who attended other then the rude member of staff who seemed to lack all the expected communication skills needed in her position.  The rain stayed away and the wind dropped so the photos were able to be taken outside, good job as i don't know where we would have taken them if it had been raining.

Photo: P Ruberry

Photo: P Ruberry

Photo: P Ruberry

Monday, 17 October 2011

Porthleven different angle

I went out with the intention of bagging some shots and stitching them together to make a massive panorama, i've done it before and learnt that it's not as easy as it seems.  However not one to be out done by the limitations of technology i also wanted long exposure shots to stitch together.  First fuck up of the evening - using a really wide angle lens is not the best idea because of the distortion - i'm lazy and couldn't be bothered to shoot a load of shots on a 35mm prime when i could get the same using 2 shots on a 10mm dedicated ultra wide angle lens!  I took a series of shots and settled down for another disappointing sunset in "sunny" Cornwall.  Much amusement was had by watching the lady on the beach forget to use her shit bag for her dog and instead use her bare hand.  As i chuckled to myself she then proceeded to try to wash said shitty hand in the sea and got soaking wet feet by the next wave.  I was pissing myself so much that i almost fell off the rock i was sat on.  Next laugh a minute sat on the freezing rock was had from the lone surfer that was so desperate for a surf that he spent 20 minutes paddling around going nowhere and being in all the wrong places for the sparse number of decent waves that were coming in.  Anyway it got dark and after the shot i took last week of Porthleven at night i decided to raise the bar and see if i could get a panorama at night.  Here is the result:

These are a real bastard due to the fact that the camera doesn't have enough ambient light to focus, cleverly gotten around by focussing on a light area of the scene and nailing the camera into manual focus quick smart before re-framing!  Next pain in the are is that looking through the viewfinder yields as much a detail as a blind person would see - so again it's time to wing it every time you move the camera for the next shot in the sequence.  Not a bad attempt considering it blowing a gale?  Below are a couple of others that i took in the pano sequence that i decided to process separately:

I'm severely pissed off with the other shots i took to stitch together at sunset as they are a definite no-go due to the tide being further in/out on each shot, it really screws up the auto stitch in PS  and doing it manually is a non starter due to the complexity of the shots.  Live and learn to fight another day! 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Gwithian / Porthleven

I spent the evening getting sandblasted to shit at Gwithian for what was the most part a complete waste of time.  Once again the sunset was looking promising and with a high wind i expected some decent fast moving cloud shots.  Well from the top of the cliff i spent the majority of my time trying to keep the sand out of my eyes whilst setting up the camera.  After the first couple of shots it was evident that the wind was causing severe camera shake and i decided to venture onto the beach instead to see if it was any better down there......it wasn't!  Thoroughly pissed off i treated myself to a macdonalds and started driving home.  I decided to drive through Porthleven on the way back and got a decent night time shot of the clocktower in the moonlight.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Collifird lake and Golitha Falls

With a hangover free Sunday on the cards i decided late to have a bit of a road trip up the A30 to scout around potential areas for some winter photographs.  First stop was Colliford Lake which i'd driven past loads of times on the way up country.

Basically 2 shots from slightly different areas and differing exposure times.

After the excitement of the lake i wasn't far from Golitha Falls, somewhere that people rave about so i thought i would check it out.  The resulting shot was obtained after a lot of pondering at where the "good stuff" was that everyone goes on about and a gashed leg from a slippery rock.

All in all a poor day out really, i wasn't expecting much because of the bright high sun but thought i may have come away with more than i did.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I went to a strange little place called Porthgwarra tonight after driving around looking for somewhere new.  Three miles of twisty lanes / large footpaths and i arrived at what i can only describe as the best hidden location on the planet.  Not only does this place have it's own slipway but a carpark as well - didn't pay the fee ha, ha, ha!  Nothing special obtained due to what started as a superb sunset but ended like a damp squib.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Dorset Flying Visit!

I had the chance to visit Dorset again this week and decided that i would try to get to some places that i've either never been able to get to or find.

Day 1

First stop was Portland Bill which is decidedly further in reality than it looks on the map!

Not much happening there as it's obviously better at sunrise so it was off to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage.  Now i've been to Swanage quite a few times but never seen these rocks but have since discovered that they are further around the headland than i thought.  After a drive that saw me scraping down the narrowest lanes imaginable i found where i wanted to be and also found that i was to endure a "mile" walk!  Don't you just love those stone signs informing you of the distance to somewhere only to discover that the person who measured it was  probably the worst mathematician in the world?

The first picture involved a very narrow walk to the end with a drop either side of 100 feet, and a slight left to right wind that didn't help matters!Not the best conditions to take photographs but it was a good to scope the place out for future reference!

Day 2

Having failed to get a sunrise because of the incessant rain i decided to have a look at Wardour Castle.  This is the castle that's featured in the film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - Thieves being the best word considering it cost £4 to get in!

I was going to try to get back to Old Harry Rocks for a sunset but everything was against me - traffic, satnav, ferries etc so i stopped at Sherborne Hill hoping to recover some sense of worthiness in going out.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Senna Revisited

Bored, didn't know where to go so i just got in the car and ended up here again, this time with the tide out!

I wasn't sure which one i liked best of the 2?

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Argyl Reservior

I decided to do something different today and not take photographs of the sea but instead take photographs at a reservoir   I've driven past Argyl Reservoir quite a few time but it just looked like a load of water but someone said to me that because the water has dropped so much over the past few months, there were some cool old tree stumps exposed.  So donning my best new trousers i started my adventure in to the different and unknown.  On arrival i found that i might have to do a bit of walking this afternoon but it was nice if not windy so off i went. Quite quickly i stumbled upon some of the said tree stumps and started to walk over to them, it started to get very soggy underfoot and eventually the inevitable happened, stuck in the mud.  Now remembering numerous episodes of Bear Grylls i knew not to panic as it pushes you further into the deep stuff.  Too late, i was well and truly stuck.  Five minutes and various bouts of turning the air blue later i stumbled onto a firmer patch of ground.

Fairly impressed with the effort i moved further around the lake before hearing the familiar shouts of kids stuck in the mud.  It takes me back to my youth with my 3 cousins when we would egg each other on further into the mud before either losing a shoe or getting stuck fast.  Carrying on sniggering all the way, i stopped once more, not because i wanted to but because yet again the mud decided that i was going to.  This was starting to be another bad day out!  Yet more cursing and wondering why the hell i'd put the thickest, warmest coat in the world on and i was free again to continue in what was fast becoming the next iron man contest with regards to getting covered in shitty stinking mud!

After all that excitement it was time to top up the nicotine, reflect on my lucky escaped from the bog of eternal stench and to scrape the mud off my boots which by this time were starting to feel like they were encased in concrete.  All refreshed and feeling a couple of stone lighter i carried on without my lighter, bastard as it wasn't until i was about another mile around the lake that i found that i'd left it behind!

All in all a decent day out in an area that i wouldn't normally give the time of day.  By the way i recovered my lighter as i hadn't left it behind as first thought but instead it had slipped through a hole in the pocket of my 2 week old coat - they don't make things like they used to.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Back to manipulation

I started off my digital creative career 8 years ago as a photo manipulator and retoucher before moving onto photography.  The main reason that i changed is the fact that i got fed up having to search and pay for stock photos to use in my art so in 2008 i borrowed some cash from the olds and bought my first D-SLR.  Naively i thought that photography was easy and was soon proved very wrong.  I stuck at it, motivated by the fact that it was going to save me shit loads of cash and that i was fairly good with technology.  There were times when i could have thrown the bloody thing off of the nearest cliff but slowly it started to come together and i enjoyed the photography more than the digital art and manipulation.  So for the past few years i have concentrated on taking photos and have neglected the digital manipulation side of it, until now!  After exhausting nearly every location in the west of Cornwall i've found myself bored of the usual landscape shots and last night produced my first serious piece of digital manipulation for almost 5 years.  The picture below consists of a  photo i took a couple of years ago after i got run over and 6 hours manipulation in photoshop.  Click it and it gets bigger ;)

I still did the odd retouching either for models i know or other people but i sometimes find it tedious and repetitive.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Sennan Cove

A last minute decision to have a trip out to Sennan this evening resulted in an average couple of photos.  I keep forgetting that sunset is now starting at about 1920 hrs and again arrived on location later than i originally wanted.    First job, get a parking ticket from the bastard machine - Senna carpark machine by the way asks your last three of your registration number so that you can't be nice and offer your ticket to anyone else.  Surely you are paying for the space for a certain amount of time not a vehicle in a space for a certain amount of time?  £2 lighter, actually the fee was £1.30 but these things never give change even though they are full of it and i was ready to start. Well nothing ever goes as planned and i was losing the plot tonight and making basic mistakes which cost me dear, yes even i make basic mistakes sometimes :)  Grad on, adjust, take it off, 10 stop on, shit didn't set focus to manual, 10 stop off, grad back on, adjust, set to manual focus, take it off, gets splashed with spray, nevermind, 10 stop on, take grad out of holder, wipe spray off, shit now i don't know where it was set, 10 stop off, grad back on....it went on and on and on............

I got a couple of decent shots i suppose considering it felt like everything was going against me.  Note to self, get there earlier and don't rush!

KFC on the way home, Godfather meal, recommended.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Lands End

Well i set myself a bit of a challenge tonight!  An hour before sunset it was all looking rather promising albeit very windy.  I decided to go back to Lands End to take a shot that i coached somebody on last week.  Well it went tits up almost from the start - the sun disappeared as soon as i got out of the car park.  After bimbling around for a while i decided on the following shot and to be honest i'm quite happy with it considering the shitty weather.  Nice Mcdonalds on the way home as well :)

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Day 1

Well, where do i start?  I decided on a few days in Dorset to see if i could photograph the locations i didn't manage to get to last time i was there.  A sunset at Kimmeridge first on the menu and after an hours drive on possibly the worst roads in the country i arrived relieved that i wasn't going to have to pay the £5 toll road fee.  Bit gutted really as i was looking forward to raging to the spotty student on a summer job that i had no intention of paying his ridiculous fee to drive 500 yards to the car park!  Who the fuck thinks this shit up?
Anyway, on exiting the car i decided that the safe steps to the beach were the soft way and opted instead to follow the path down the cliff - bound to be quicker.  I got to the bottom and was surprised that i would have to jump down the last bit, it was only about 6 feet after all.  Mid way down i discovered that i'd made the mother of miscalculations and it was more like 12 feet.  Hitting the deck hard with an extra 12 kilos on my back i did a roll that any commando would have proud of.  Dusting myself down i looked around to make sure that no one had noticed....FAIL!  Some very helpful beardy quickly enlightened me that there were steps over there!  Noting his helpful comment with a nod and grunt i started to hobble off whilst trying to ignore the pain from my twisted ankle and the blood pouring out of my elbow.  I made it about 100 metres before sitting down to top up the nicotine levels and to inspect the war wounds a bit better.  Thankyou kind German lady that cleaned my cut with what was possibly the most stinging antiseptic in the world.  Right time to start work.

Time to move to the extreme right of the beach, already checked the tide times.  The sun had started to go down and it was ready for some long exposures to bring out the colour.

On the way back home i had to stop to get a photo of the hay rolls, never see this sort of shit in Cornwall in this quantity or with that backdrop.

Day 2

A trip to Lulworth Cove was in order to photograph it from a higher viewpoint than i had done before.  As luck happened i stumbled on the path to the top of the hill above the cove instead of winging it through the undergrowth and even so it felt like climbing Everest.

Day 3

Impressed with my efforts at Lulworth the night before i decided to go back to the same place for sunrise.  Packing up the car at 0400 i thought due to the stupidly early time of day that i would get there in record time, why do i set myself up for these disappointments.  Every milk float, tractor and shit driver must of been informed of where i was going and decided to play the game.  Tanking it down the A35 i was met by what looked like 2 headlights coming out of a turning, on getting closer at over the national speed limit i discovered that it was in fact a camper van trying to do a 60 point turn in the middle of the road.  On anchors and an impressive response time for the time of day i narrowly avoided t-boning these two twats.  Fatal accident avoided i carried on the journey smoking myself to death.  By the time i arrived to climb Everest again the sun was already starting to rise, ever think that you're doing it all wrong????  I swear that the sun rises faster when you're still trying to get to the location and once you're there it just goes into slow as shit mode.  A little wait around,3 fags and a piss later it was time to start.

It wasn't quite the sunrise i expected so i killed some time doing a panorama.
5 separate photos stitched together in photoshop.

Was it worth getting up early and going back?  Probably not but the look on the passengers face in the camper van was priceless, he saw life flash before his eyes and must have been praying hard as shit to the brake gods that morning!

First time for a while

I finally decided to drag my arse out and take some photos since i had a mate arriving from near London the day  after.  After much deliberation on where to go i decided to try Hayle Estaury.  The conditions weren't the best and my cable release decided to pack up soon after starting  - cheap Chinese crap.  Still i got a decent shot in the end and didn't get cut off by the tide this time.

Having attained a decent photo the night before i was ready with renewed excitement to leave home at 0430 to get a Porthcurno sunrise.  I've done plenty of sunsets in this area but never sunrises so it was a bit of a lash up trying to find out where the sun was  going to appear  from.  Thanks to bad traffic (yes i know it was 0430 but still) i didnt need to look too hard after arriving on location as it was already rising fast.

A quick bite at the awesome eatery that is McDonalds and it was off to Trebah Gardens.  I'd not been there for a while and was looking forward to seeing how it had changed......it hadn't!

The weather started to get wet and we decided to make a trip to the Eden Project in St Austell.  An hours drive and £22 each lighter (plants are expensive apparently) and i was ready to photograph some foliage and believe me there is a lot of it in those biomes.  First snag, misting lens, it's hot as hell in there and i was sweating like a rapist in a nursery.  After a good dose of man the fuck up i began.....avoiding the fat tourists, push chairs, buggies and general nob heads.  This was starting to be the shittest idea since i confirmed that the kettle was hot by putting my hand on it!

Hmmmm, yes very interesting.  Best thing about that trip?  The overpriced icecream!