Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Towans - Photography Week 49 (2015)

As I have discovered, the beach area at Gwithian in Cornwall is part of a larger stretch of coastline called The Towans (from the Cornish for sand dunes). The beach is 5km long from the River Hayle to Gwithian and the mouth of the Red River. Beyond this is Godrevy Cove and the lighthouse.

My research was prompted by a photograph taken on a return visit to the area (see my post Godrevy Lighthouse - Photography Week 49). I particularly liked the light reflecting in the wet sand and the dog walker in the distance but I was unclear on how to describe the location.  

It is not usual for landscape photography to pose questions. Often I find myself delving into subjects ranging from aspects of history, to geology, weather, different types of flora - but the most frequent question of all relates to location and sometimes this can be very specific e.g. the name of a particular group of rocks, a building, stream or river, beach etc.

These days answering a lot of these questions is relatively straight forward with apps and search engines but the process of enquiry and discovery is one of aspects of photography that I enjoy - the anorak is not only for keeping dry!

Other shots taken on the day are more similar to the compositions taken on my previous visit to this location. They all have Godrevy Lighthouse as a focal point in the background. The key difference is the light. The muted tones from my previous visit are replaced by direct sunlight and a greater dynamic range. This has the effect of altering the exposure and darkening the colour of the sand to a rich orangey brown. I feel that this location and the view towards the lighthouse will provide a very strong image at some point although I am not sure I am quite there yet:

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