Wheal Coates, Cornwall, UK

July 1, 2016


With the weather forecast reading “chances of rain”, I was nervous to shoot this evening but I was ready to take to the risk. The rain poured down for most of the journey, but the clouds were moving fast so it eventually blew over. I headed to Chapel Porth with plenty of time to find and explore Wheal Coates – a group of tin mines and engine houses functioning for most of the nineteenth century and now a UNESCO world heritage site


Chapel Porth wasn’t what I thought it’d be with a fairly small car park, narrow roads leading you to it and lots of large rocks separating the beach from the car park. It does have a lifeguard service though and a few other facilities including a café and toilets.


The half-a-mile walk from the car park to the mines is part of the SW coastal path system, which isn’t exactly maintained but it is easy to follow. As I set out on the walk, I could see rain on the horizon and it was heading right to me. So, I put on my coat and had a plastic bag handy to protect my camera. The more of the path I walked, the more of the beach and its beauty revealed itself. It stretched for miles with sets of waves parallel to the shoreline, rolling in another after another.



As I approached the mine, I noticed a bird of prey and became mesmerized by how it hovered perfectly in the strong wind. When it flew off, I looked back at the mine standing tall, towering above me. To look for some possible photos, I walked straight past it and further up the coastal path.


At first, I was mainly interested in getting a foreground that showcased the purple flowers. It was hard to get a sharp shot because of the strong wind and the rain meant that I missed some really nice light but, in the end, I got something I was happy with. I then moved onto something a lot simpler – the pronounced pathways. The hard ground was much more stable and my photos benefited from the lines.


Wanting to explore a bit more, I found another great pathway behind the mine. It curved perfectly through the foreground of my photo whilst something amazing happened in the background. Out to sea was a lot of really heavy rain approaching like a thick mist swallowing up the coastline. I took a few shots before the rain reached me, packed up my gear and then stayed to witness the incredible scene. The wind was forcing me backwards and the rain was painful as it hit my face but, thanks to the sunset, literally EVERYTHING was glowing orange!




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