Porth Nanven - part 1
Porth Nanven is probably my favourite location for photographing seascapes. Just north of Land's End, and situated at the end of a long single track road at the end of the Cot Valley (turn left at the school in St Just), the photographic possibilities are endless. Facing west it is a great place for sunsets.
Once you have negotiated the narrow lane down the valley you reach a small car park overlooking the sea. A few yards away a small cove opens up in front of you. There is a small beach, which has some sand at low tide, but which is otherwise characterised by a series of round and oval rocks and boulders. These rocks give the cove its other name - dinosaur egg beach. The boulders are fascinating and make good photos in their own right. But they also provide good foreground to wider shots, using two much bigger rocks called the Brisons. Sitting out on the horizon these make a great focal point for many an image.
During this year's trip to Cornwall I restricted myself to one visit to Porth Nanven, deciding to concentrate on other locations instead. It was therefore with great excitement that I arrived on site with the one area of clear sky being straight out ahead of me over the sea.
My previous visits to Porth Nanven had been in July and I had the cove pretty much to myself. This visit was in August and it was with some surprise that I found a number of other people on the beach. Fortunately I was able to move around the beach and still get the shots I wanted. As the sun went down the beach cleared and by the time darkness came I was, again, the only person left!
I have separated my photos into two sections - those taken before sunset and those taken after the sun has gone down. In truth, the sky was bit too clear (again) before sunset meaning I had to shoot at angles across the cove to avoid flare.
A small stream that runs through the beach provides some added interest.
As the sun starts to set, the image below more clearly shows some of the boulders that give the beach its name. The lighthouse and rocks on the horizon are those famous icons seen in many an image of Land's End.
I managed just one shot facing directly out to sea whilst the sun was still above the horizon. Here you can see the Brisons standing proud in the distance.
But Porth Nanven really comes into its own when the sun goes down - see part 2