Penryn. A place of history, heritage, nature, wildlife, a wonderful looking town centre with it’s old buildings and iconic clock tower, and rolling fields and mature trees around the town’s periphery.
I first moved to Penryn sixteen years ago knowing very little about the town itself. Unbeknown to me, I later discovered whilst researching my family tree so that my son knew his ancestry when he got older, that in fact I have family members born both in Penryn in 1891, and also in Falmouth in 1760. I’ve never lived in one place as long as I have here in Penryn. It’s almost like I was destined to come home, and I’m very proud to call it just that. Penryn has a sense of community, and throughout the year there are celebrations, festivals and alike taking place where everyone gathers to have a good catch up and join in the fun. It’s been a good place to bring my son up in over the years.
I also couldn’t want for a better office to work in as a photographer. Predominantly I photograph landscapes and nature, and Penryn offers a wide choice of different types of locations to go out and work in, whatever the weather. I step outside of my front door, full kit and caboodle on my back, and it’s all accessible within about a ten minute walk from my home. I can photograph wading birds on the estuary with relatively good cover so’s not to disturb them, rainbows, mists and other interesting weather from the top of Penryn overlooking the fields, go down by the river to St Gluvias Churchyard for birds, squirrels, and wild flowers, or maybe visit Enys Gardens just up the road in the spring time for the Bluebell fields. The Glasney Valley and the Antron stream are also really great places for wildlife and water photography, and I have been known to make dog walkers jump after noticing me lurking underneath the trees in the river with my tripod and wellies on doing some long exposure work. My apologies if you were one of those people!
We are very lucky in Penryn that we get some beautiful sunrises looking down the river from Exchequer Quay towards Flushing. I had a lovely early morning shoot on the quay not so long ago. It was positively freezing when I got there and it was perfectly still, not a breath of wind. I set up my kit and sat on one of the granite blocks at the edge of the quay and waited patiently. The light began to break through bringing with it a great blue hour, the twilight before the sun breaks the horizon. The colour in the sky and reflected in the water was just perfect. At the same time I was also treated to four Kingfisher sightings and be surrounded by their calls with not a soul around. Moments like these are very special, and to think that I don’t have to go far to see and hear these things makes me feel very grateful that I live where I do, even if it means getting up at the crack of dawn.
Sometimes when I get the chance I like to photograph at night as well, and have found that Commercial Road, and also particularly at the bottom of Eastwood Road, are great spots for playing about with long exposure car light trails. At the base of Eastwood Road you have the boat yard just across which adds some nice interest, and also the street lights shining above from which you can get some good affects by changing your settings around a bit. Also the quay is great at night with the buoy lights, lights from the boats, reflections on the water, plus the street lighting which just highlights the boats enough to give you some nice detail in the shot.
Penryn is a multitude of environments. Penryn is my home and my office. Long may it continue to be so, and to be so diverse.
Phil’s work has featured in several publications, including Digital SLR magazine after being invited to take part in a 1-2-1 workshop with one of the UK’s leading landscape and Natural History photographers Ross Hoddinott. She has run successful photography courses for the USDAW Union around Cornwall and runs regular 1-2-1 photography sessions. She recently completed her first political assignment, producing campaign publicity images and she is a stock contributor to Alamy.
For more information, to book a photography session or to order prints and canvases visit her website –