Finisterre | October 2017
Published on: 19th October 2017
By David Noton
It’s not quite the end of the earth, or France at least, but it certainly feels like it. Out to the west is nothing but open sea, all the way to Newfoundland. Yes, we know this rugged headland, the Pointe de Pen-Hir, is not France’s most westerly point, and that the odd rocky island such as Ouessant are out there, but that’s just nit-picking; for us, on this glorious evening, this is Finisterre.
The sheer cliffs we’re stood atop drop 70 metres below where my tripod is placed to the Atlantic. The headland arcs around to the south before petering out as a series of rocky outcrops; les tas de pois (piles of peas; sounds better en Francais, doesn’t it?). Geographically it feels familiar; we could be in Cornwall. In fact, we are. This is Cornouaille; a region of Brittany settled by migrants from Cornwall in the second half of the first millenia AD. But the links that bond southwest England and Brittany date from well before that, in fact from even before the Romans came, and went, and those links remain tangible today. We came on one yesterday; the ferry to St Malo. Now we’re camped just a mile away and looking forward to the next two weeks of photographic exploration here in Cornouaille.
You’ll be able to read all about it in the November edition of the f11 Photography Magazine.
But first; the October Edition is Live and awaiting our f11 Member’s perusal. Of all months October is surely the time to be out and about, treading boldly and behind the lens, chasing the kind of gorgeous light we experienced recently in the Yorkshire Dales, where this month’s Behind the Lens reports from. But predicting the dramatic skies in between the showers can be tricky. All the more reason to devour Richard Fox’s latest instalment on the best weather for photographers.
Meanwhile Ross Hoddinott expounds on what autumn means for him, and I’ll bet that means rolling in the mud shooting some creepy-crawly or other. As for our other f11 columnists, Ben Pipe has been travelling through the Balkans, while Bas Meelker has been out and about testing Benro filters. I’ve also been trying out filters, but those from the 1980s (including a tobacco grad!) for a tongue-in-cheek Stepping Back. Beware – this feature really should come with a public health warning.
In addition, I lead you through the editing process in part five of our workflow series, lift the lid on processing in my regular post-production video and, in this month’s opinion column, ask if we shouldn’t only shoot at dusk or dawn. On a serious note for a serious topic, website guru Jon Sloper of Alacrify analyses the cyber attacks that threaten us all, and suggests what we can do to protect ourselves. Our guest feature this month is from the talented Portuguese photographer Joel Santos, Travel Photographer of the Year 2016. But, as usual it’s not all about the top pros – we want your pictures and involvement in our f11 Members’ Gallery.
Hopefully you’ll have noticed we’ve been steadily plugging away at adding the back issues. It’s a long job, but we’re getting there... Don’t forget; all f11 Member’s get exclusive access to all back issues. We’re also glad to be able to announce that my three e-Books on Composition, Light and Exposure are back online and can once again be downloaded from the f11 Photography Magazine website; free as always for f11 Members or as a stand-alone purchase for those you who are inexplicably not. Coming soon is a search facility, along with more photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform, of course.
We’re now back from Finisterre, but the lure of the sea hasn’t faded. Just yesterday I was stood on the cliff overlooking Dancing Ledge with two lucky ladies; Marcha and Clare, winners of the Wex/Canon competition.
Their prize was an exclusive weekend course on the Jurassic Coast, but their real luck was the lighting we witnessed.
I’ve been photographing the Jurassic Coast for almost 40 years now but I’m still amazed by its beauty, and so were they.
Next up, after the last Franche-Comte Photo-Explorer Adventure, is CameraWorld Live on Saturday 28 October at Bishopsgate in London. I’ll be speaking, doing portfolio reviews and on hand to chat. See you there?