The Adventures of Graham’s Tripod, Part 2


In which Graham’s Tripod is dragged up a rocky hillside in Cornwall
at dead of night, and has its feet dipped in horse poo…

As a complete contrast to the genteel streets of West London, the
second assignment for Graham’s tripod took us to West Cornwall, on a
wild coastline at dead of night. Like storybook smugglers, we crept
up to the clifftops by moonlight and surreptitious torchlight, hoping
to be rewarded not with brandy for the parson or baccy for the clerk,
but with some striking and unusual photos.

We were lucky enough to have arrived in Cornwall to coincide not just
with the full moon, but with a clear and still night. “Still” is
important, as even with a sturdy tripod, the buffeting of the wind can
cause camera shake, especially using these sorts of exposure times
(typically between 15 and 30 *minutes*!) For those of you who haven’t
tried it, I’d strongly recommend you give moonlight photography a try.
It works especially well with sea views, when the long exposure makes
the surface of the sea look very soft and frothy. You can see from
the photo above that there wasn’t much surf running. I’d like to come
back and try the shot again when there is.

For this blog entry, I’ve included two different versions of the same
shot. The quality of the moonlight gives very saturated, natural
colours which you can see in the first version. After several people
saw it and exclaimed “but it doesn’t look like night!”, I produced the
second version. It’s a great illustration of how you can produce
completely different results from the same basic image. The third
image is a slightly different shot, processed in “night” mode.

And the horse poo? No, I’m not making it up. It’s hard to see exactly
what’s underfoot, even by torchlight, and at one point when moving the
tripod around to adjust the shot, there was this squish…

Another enthralling tale of tripodic adventure to follow soon!



About The Tom Angle

Photographer, food & wine lover, fanatical French horn player and reluctant IT geek. British expat in Switzerland.
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