St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, UK

September 8, 2015

This morning, I was up bright and early for sunrise at St Michael’s Mount. I had been excited for days but seriously underestimated the distance from my home near Padstow to Penzance. The closer I got, the mistier it became so I was also concerned about that. With journeys like this, it is always a risk considering I don’t know what the sunrise will be like and I don’t know whether it will be worth it. 


As I got closer to the mount, there were fantastic views of the mist settled across fields, in valleys and around old mines and viaducts. The mount is first seen when you enter the village of Marazion where the sound of the ocean and sea gulls is present. There is a surprising stench as you walk onto beach, but that is overcome by the sense of awe you get from the castle. Only when the tide is at its lowest is the cobbled stone causeway revealed. Of course the island can be accessed via boat, but it can only be accessed on foot when the causeway is above (or at least close to) sea level. The mount is mainly just a tourist attraction now, but is still home to shops, pubs and 30 lucky people. Hundreds of years ago, the castle started as a monastery and was frequently a place of conflict in times of war.


In my head, I knew the photo I wanted to take but there were a other people who wanted a similar thing. After trying to not get in the way, I claimed a good spot with a great composition. The shoot could’ve been quite disappointing for me because the sun doesn’t rise behind the mount. Instead, it was bathed in warm, morning light as I hoped it would. There were enough clouds to create an interesting sky and they were lit various shades of pink from the side (making them look puffy and like candy floss). I would’ve liked the tide to be a little higher but, as time went on, it got lower and lower. By compositing different photos, I could take the smooth textures from the sea (at its highest point), the orange glow on the castle and a good balance in the sky. Towards the end of the shoot, the wind picked up so it was time for some hot breakfast and then a new adventure.



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