Gurnard's Head

Back to Cornwall

For me, the spring and summer months are the time to visit and photograph Cornwall.  It's not that I think these are the best seasons to photograph Cornwall, it's just that the longer days means it's more practical to get there for sunset.

Now that the autumn season is upon us I can already sense a chill in the air and the days are getting noticeably shorter.  Soon the clocks will change and the opportunities to get to Cornwall will be very much reduced.  So while it is still reasonably practical for me, I'm trying to get to Cornwall as much as I can. 

Gurnard's Head

One of the great things about my custom Google map is that I should never be short of locations to visit.  My map contains a huge number of pins, and a lot of them I haven't even visited.  Many of these unvisited pins are locations that I discovered from magazines or social media channels.

For this trip out with the camera, I was looking for somewhere new to photograph down on the north-west coast. A quick look at my custom Google map revealed a location that I had pinned some time ago, Gurnard's Head. 

From the text I had added to the pin I could see that I had discovered this location in an issue of Outdoor Photography magazine.  Fortunately, I have been buying digital copies of this excellent magazine for a number of years now so it was an easy task to bring up the issue on my computer and get a feel for this location again.


Windy Cornwall

One of the reasons I was heading to the north-east coast of Cornwall was it was one of the few areas of Cornwall that had a forecast that could help yield a good photograph.  As with a few of my recent trips to Cornwall though, it was still going to be a bit of a punt if it would work out or not.

After a 2 hour drive to get to my location I made the short walk down to Gurnard's Head.  It soon struck me how windy it was.  While the sky was relatively clear, and the sun was out, the wind was very strong.  Even stronger than my recent visit to Wheal Coates tin mine

Normally the wind isn't too much of a problem, but it was almost certainly going to be too strong for any long exposure.  The wind was coming straight in from the sea so I wouldn't be able to shield the camera either.  However, I could at least stand up so no excuses for not taking a couple of pictures!

Gurnard's Head Sunset #1, Cornwall - Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35 mm f/4 at 32 mm, 0.4 secs at ISO 64, f/13, Lee Filters ND Grad.

Gurnard's Head Sunset #2, Cornwall - Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35 mm f/4 at 16 mm, 0.4 secs at ISO 64, f/13, Lee Filters ND Grad.

I really enjoyed my time at Gurnard's Head (despite the wind).  One observation I did make is that the area around the headland is covered in heather and if I visit there again I'll do so at the start of August.  I can imagine Gurnard's Head is a sea of purple at the right time of year.

Despite the strong winds, I was happy to have explored this new location (something I'm trying to do more of).  Unfortunately, the predicted cloud cover never transpired that evening (it was painfully beautiful a few miles further east), but sometimes it's the experience of being outdoors that's important.

So have you been to Gurnard's Head before?  Which of my two images did you prefer?  Let me know in the comments below.