In November 2012 we return to Poldhu Cove, Cornwall, one of our favourite coastal photography locations. Its South, North and West coastal aspects are all easily accessible from The Chocolate Box Cottage at Trewoon, our base for the trip. We never tire of this area as it has ever-changing light and weather that make seascape photography here so appealing.When Nicola at Trewoon hung examples of our work in her Lovely Cottages, we were thrilled. Nicola asked if we had anything to say about our work and the area, so we hope the following articles will explain why Poldhu is one of our favourite locations. We plan subsequent articles that explore our photography; what we do, what we use and how we go about shooting the Cove.
We tend to visit Cornwall in the cooler months as we find the light very appealing for our work; the clearer atmosphere at this time of year produces less haze and causes less light distortion. We also enjoy the earlier sunsets and later sunrises, making the ‘golden hour’ for photography that little bit more holiday friendly! In Philip Plisson’s stunning Photo Book - The Sea - Eliane Georges says “Perhaps our early childhood memories are like a camera shutter: once triggered, they imprint you with very strong sensations, which you will later try to rediscover.” This quote resonates with me, as it frames exactly how I feel about the oceans, water itself and why I revisit them constantly.
One of my earliest recollections… I was around four years old, on the train to Blackpool (a coastal resort in the UK), when I experienced for the first time "that smell" that distinct, salty, cleansing scent of the sea. The freshness of that smell as it seeped in through the windows of the train carriage was very different from the steam and grease smells of the trains, and this new and intriguing odour felt like the whisper of a friend encouraging me to “come this way… come and be with me”. That friend still whispers in my ear today - I still feel excitement when approaching the place where land meets water.
My experience was, perhaps, a common enough experience for a young boy on his first adventure to the seaside, yet recalling the experience today can still produce tears laced with emotion. I know I am not alone in my response to the ocean, and I have grown to think that perhaps there is a collective knowledge within us all that informs some innate sense that being at the water's edge is a good place to be? I remember, coming closer to the ocean, a growing feeling of anticipation. This feeling, unknown to me then, but revisited many times since, is one of approaching a favourite destination, or perhaps closer to the feeling that I am, in a way, coming home? Many have written of this or a similar experience as if something inside us remembers our collective past. (Part Two)