Luxulyan Valley, Cornwall, UK

June 2, 2015

Today I went exploring around Luxulyan Valley - a very beautiful woodland near St Austell, Cornwall. I almost had the trail to myself and there was a nice breeze in the air. I went with the intention of photographing the old wheel pit that you can see below. In the morning, my plans were ruined by a not so positive weather forecast but, to my surprise, it cleared up by midday. I wanted an overcast sky (for even light) but the sunshine made the walk very enjoyable. Also, the paths held up very well considering the amount of rainfall in the morning. I'd still advise boots or wellies though.


At the beginning of my walk, I found a pretty impressive river along the side of the road I had chose to walk down. It wasn't worth setting up my gear, but I wish I spent more time there as I probably could've found something. It turned out that I had gone off the proper route, but I found an unusual structure in the side of the road (you can see in the video) that I climbed under to get back onto the actual trail. I had a map to find to the specific location I was interested in, but found myself choosing the wrong path a lot and having to turn around. The lack of signs and direction let the trail down. There were lots of alternative pathways that confused me probably because I didn't know the area. There was a car park with lots of space, but I had no idea it was there and wasn't expecting to find one. I did expect to find a more impressive waterfall at the old wheal pit (especially because of how much rainfall there was in the morning) but there it was nothing more than a trickle. However, the old, rusted machinery and old buildings were very interesting and deserve a lot of credit. 


Because of the direct sunlight, I had to do a lot of dodging and burning to emphasise different points of interest (wheals and cogs) in the frame. I tried black and white because of the old aesthetic and feel but a lot of the points of interest were lost in details and textures in the background. I liked how the rusty colours contrasted the greens and blues. I used a 10 stop ND filter to reduce the amount of light and to allow for a shutter speed of about a minute and a half. I wanted to use a long exposure to add another interesting element to the photo and to smoothen some of the harsh textures.




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