I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


 Another day of sunshine and showers but a few degrees warmer than of late. So went down to Porthtowan, firstly because Molly enjoys the beach and secondly because I had noticed a mine adit marked on the map. An adit is the entrance to a mine level. Big mistake, whilst I was crawling about the mine opening, my dear, butter wouldn't melt companion, was busy introducing herself to an Atlantic Seal. Now this seal was an ex seal. A long dead, purifying mass. I'll spare you further details. The stench was indescribable. She was pleased as punch, thinks it's canine Channel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Adit......I suspect this is not so much an entrance as an exit for draining water from a mine. What is known in Derbyshire as a Sough.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Hand dug it could go for miles.

Had a look at a couple of engine houses but settled on this one which is part of the Tywarnhayle Mine. It even has it's own moat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Sorry about the smudge on the chimney had to shift some power lines and didn't notice till I posted it.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I like the contrast between the brick and the granite.......Brightens the job up!

Now I've been having problems, bright skies and dark under the cliffs. Normally I would just use a graduated filter but they only really work when the horizon is roughly horizontal. Here's what I mean.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Straight raw conversion, levels adjusted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Same image with foreground selected and treated to brightening, and saturation.

PC020577_4_3_5_6_edited-1 HDR.

Perhaps better to forget photography on a day like today, or convert to mono. It is possible to superimpose any or all of these images and then juggle the opacity to get a more subdued effect.

We are moving on tomorrow not quite decided where to yet. Most likely be no internet.

Now off to wash the dog as this van reeks! Feeling quite ill!


  1. Wonderful photos. Rather worried about unstable mineshafts and ground shifts and roofs falling in on you and you falling in on mines.

    Can't imagine sharing a van with a seal-smeared Molly is much fun.

    I'm not sure why you are modifying the pictures of the rocks. Grey days are grey days and grey rocks are grey rocks and grey rocks on grey days are grey . . . and I quite like them to be celebrated. I hope you don't shift to monochrome for scenes that are naturally monochrome because subtleties of colour are lost that way. (As much as I like monochrome!)

    I'd like to ask if I could cheat a bit. I've been trying to look back over some of your older posts . . . to find out more about you and your route etc. I think I'd appreciate your current posts more if I knew more about the back-history. But my little laptop can't cope with the number of pictures on some pages in the archives - and jams. So . . . are you able to point me to a post which might fill me in? Or do you do 'request posts'? If so, may I request a post about who you are and what inspired you to travel and whether you have a route . . . and all those kind of things?


  2. Lucy, there is no plan, I'm a retired sailor who can't settle. I started this trip at the end of July and just keep a diary which I happen to post......Vanity! There is so much of the UK I've never seen. It's a two year whirlwind tour. In the second year I will go back to places that inspired me and spend longer. Light is critical, I love colour and contrast. Mainly this is a record. So I shoot and post everyday. Maybe one day I will be competent. Then what? I was rubbish at blogging when I started and let Google do the compression. Now I compress and they should load OK, No image is larger than 1756KB or thereabouts. Thanks for the interest, always welcome. Anything I've missed? As for the grey comment. It's not grey I dislike it's blown highlights, hate em!

  3. PS Lucy, I worked a mine briefly as a young lad. no danger 'The old men' Knew where to dig.

  4. Well . . . I hope you are right. I have family farming in Cornwall and there were stories of tractors going down abandoned tin mines when I was a child.

    Thanks for the biographical fill in. To know it does make your blog more interesting - as I thought it would.


  5. Great to hear Molly had such a beaut day while you were feeling "grey". I like the engine house with the moat.

  6. Pauline, thanks, Her day went rapidly downhill. Two showers which she hates, filthy little beast.

  7. The engine house is at Wheal Ellen, which became part of Wheal Music mine (not Tywarnhayle) - but the venture went bust in 1866 and the pumping engine was never installed. The valley floor is a SSSI classified as 'low-lying wetland' - as you can tell from the current state of the stream running down to Porthtowan. As this is virtually my front garden I have posted some of the history at http://www.little-music.co.uk/heritage.php.
    You are quite right - for adit read exit.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of the area despite the most appaling weather in 200 years!

  8. Dudley, thanks for the corrections. Lifted the name from the OS map. You live in a beautiful area.
    Always improves my experience of an area when a bit of local knowledge is available. The OS will correct the map both of the sough on the beach and the mine name if you contact them.Many thanks again.

  9. Oh my goodness... the thought of Molly rolling in the ex-seal made my stomach go all queasy. You poor thing... hopefully you got the stench out!

    I love the HDR shots. That last one is magical and mystical!