The Story behind the Image: Godrevy Lighthouse, Cornwall – Limited Edition Collection
Welcome to a new feature in The Ashford Daly Magazine where we dip from time to time into the Ashford Daly Photography picture library and maybe some of our past work in the archives to bring you the stories behind the image.
When people purchase photographic images and prints from galleries, by and large they formulate their own story based on the content of the image in front of them.
Like they say, every picture tells a story and as photographers, most of our images have a tale to tell, so we thought it would be nice to share that with you all occasionally.
Godrevy Lighthouse, North Cornwall
For anyone who has visited Cornwall you will have no doubt have marvelled at the amazing coastline this part of the UK has to offer, sheer cliff faces the rolling Atlantic ocean pierced by rock stacks make this a location that I defy any photographer to not want to shoot.
I (Greg) very rarely get the chance to do the type of Landscape work I like, sorry folks while I do photograph nice rolling meadows with cattle in them on a sunny day, it does not really do it for me in the main part… as I do like a bit of drama and atmosphere.
Hence while in Cornwall this January we headed off to St Ives Bay where Godrevy Lighthouse lies on the eastern part of the bay.
The weather was a horrible wet winters day with a mixture of wind rain and mist that seemed to be coming in waves, so picking the right moment to head out of the warmth of the car and scramble down the rocks was going to be key, this was not made any easier by the fact that Mary still had half a flask of hot coffee left and a bag of doughnuts of which four out of the original six remained, should I leave her alone with them…
A break in the weather soon came and off I shot in the direction of the location I had spied on our arrival, it was 11am and high tide was at 12:30 ish although this gave me a 90 min slot the sea can be very unpredictable and the tide was already encroaching on the rocks I wanted to setup on.
Anyone who has been on wet rocks will know how slippy they can be so I elected to leave what I did not need on some rocks a few yards back from my shooting position the theory being if my feet started getting wet it would be time to get back to the bag.
Fortunately on arrival at the spot I had selected I discovered it to be pretty flat and within minuets was all set up and framed. As you can see from the image I wanted to create three zones to the image.
The foreground rocks for detail, the rocks in the centre that almost formed a lagoon where the waves were hitting as the main action and in the distance the rock that the Lighthouse was sat on each element bringing something to the table so to speak.
The idea being as to not to make the lighthouse the main feature but to lead the eye to it thorough the different elements of the image.
The sea I wanted to be soft but with some detail so an ND (neutral density) filter was selected to take care of that and give me an exposure of 1 second, also the sky while having some detail was in danger of being bleached out by the exposure for the rocks, therefore some detail was pulled back with a graduated ND filter. (For the Photographers out there image details are below).
The sea was now coming in thick and fast but the waves were just perfect for the effect I wanted so maybe wet socks was going to be a given.
While on the subject of waves this brings up another aspect… Spray it gets everywhere and especially on the filters so these were being wiped every other shot, sounds a small thing and can go unlooked but could destroy a great image, however the wiping does eat into your time.
Quick check on the bag with the rest of the gear revealed a walker looking down at me… the look on his face saying it all… ”bloody idiot out on a day like this with his camera”.
Shots now in the bag I made my way back to the photo-backpack, base camp, packed up and started back, just as the heavens opened.
Quick glance over the shoulder revealed or should I say did not reveal the rocks I had been set up on were no more having been consumed by the incoming ocean.
The weather was absolutely vile this day… high winds, mist rain and bitterly cold, but inside this photographer was the warm glow of just the shot I wanted, the shot I’d obtained and the shot I could work on back in the studio.
PS… Two doughnuts remained in the bag…
Nikon D700, ISO 100, f22, 1 Exposure.
ND Filter and Graduated ND filter.
Finishing using personalised PS.
If you would like to see more of our Limited Edition Prints and ART Collections please check out our FINE ART COLLECTIONS section on our website or contact Ashford Daly Photography via:
The Cornwall Collection: http://www.ashforddalyphotography.com/fine-art/the-collections/scapes/the-cornwall-collection/
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