16 Questions about 1 Photo with Wildlife & Nature Photography

Coastal view

1. Please introduce yourself. Who are you? What do you do?

I am an amateur photographer whose passion is the great outdoors, particularly hiking and mountain walking. For me, hiking is far more than just a recreational activity. It is my chance to unplug from the digital world, the pressures of a demanding job, and reconnect with nature. I am lucky to live in the UK, as we have a large network of public trails and many national parks here. Writing is a big part of my day job, but as it is considerably different from the blurb on my Photostream, I find writing descriptions for my photos as my personal creative freedom.

2. How long have you been into photography and what drew you to it?

I have been snapping images since I was a teenager, and those served as memories of places I visited, friends, family, and special occasions. It was just before the Covid pandemic that I started experimenting with more creative photography techniques, in particular, long exposure. I got a tripod, filters, and a shutter release cable. That is when my photographic journey truly begun. Working with a tripod slows you down, and has the effect of forcing you to consider compositions more carefully.

What drew me to photography was capturing memories, but it is the creativity and the sense of self-expression that keeps me striving to learn more and push the envelope further.

3. In one sentence, please describe what you captured in this shot.

This image shows one of Cornwall’s most iconic locations, the Engine Houses of Botallack Mines. I aimed to capture the essence of the dramatic Cornish coastline, with its industrial heritage and rugged cliffs.

4. What style of photography would you describe this as and do you typically take photographs in this style?

This genre is seascape photography, which is the art of capturing the never-ending story between land and sea. As a child, I grew up near the ocean and love spending time capturing its many faces, from calmness to 90mph storms. By using different shutter speeds, I can highlight different moods; and by using filters, I am able to create a dramatic image. I aim to emphasize in my seascape photography the difference between the softness of the water and the solidness of rocks as it makes an intriguing contrast, especially when the lighting conditions are right. It is a huge bonus when I get rewarded with vibrant sunset colours or clouds streaks, which are made more dramatic by long exposure techniques.

Another photography genre that I am fond of is landscape photography, which fits perfectly with my passion for the outdoors. Contrary to what some people may believe, landscape photography is not about aiming the camera at a pretty scene and clicking. It is about technique, composition, lighting, and mainly being at the right location at the right time.

5. When and where was this photo taken?

This image was taken in November 2023 at Botallack Mines, run by the National Trust, and is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. With its rugged cliffs and dramatic scenery, it is no surprise that this location was the setting for the BBC’s drama series ‘Poldark’. Records about mining activity at Botallack date from the early 1500s. It had undersea tunnels, some extending in places for half a mile. Cornwall itself provides endless opportunities for both seascape and landscape photography. I am not sure what I like about Cornwall the most. Is it its rugged beaches, dramatic coastline, rolling countryside or charming fishing villages? Perhaps it is a combination of all the above.

6. Was anyone with you when you took the photo?

One of the strengths of Flickr is its supportive community. I made many friendships here, and learned a great deal for which I am grateful. I was in the company of five talented photographers, one of them being Cornish I might add. All of them are tagged in the photo and I recommend browsing their Photostreams.

7. What equipment did you use?

I photograph mainly with my Nikon D750 and for this photo I used a 24-120mm f/4.0 lens at 38mm, ISO 100, f/13 and the exposure was set to 8 seconds to achieve a mix of silkiness and motion in the water. As for tripods, I use the Gitzo Travel tripod, which I find very stable. The latter feature is particularly helpful, as I enjoy shooting storms at 80-90mph gales.

8.What drew you to take this photo?

This image was taken in a location I wanted to visit for a very long time, ever since I saw images of it posted on this platform. Where else would you find an abundance of Engine Houses perched on rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean?

9. How many attempts did it take to get this shot? How long did it take you to get one that you were satisfied with?

I spent around 2-3 hours at that location, exploring different compositions. To photograph that scene, the best composition is from the opposite direction from the Engine Houses. To get there, one has to cross a very narrow path on top of a cliff with severe drops on both sides. Not for the faint hearted, I might add. Certainly not to be attempted during mist, fog, or storms. Having crossed it a couple of times now, I can well understand why it was coined by some photographers as ‘The Ledge of Doom’.

I took dozens of shots, as the light was constantly changing. The cliffs are quite dark, so having them lit by the golden setting sun was a huge bonus. In fact, I was lucky with the lighting in this image, as it was mostly overcast during the shoot. The sun shone only for a few moments. That is when I clicked.

10. Did you edit or do any post-processing on this photo?

I use Adobe Photoshop 2024 to edit my photos. The post processing for this photo included a slight crop, removing a few dust spots, masking, and layers.

11. What encouraged you to share this photo online and with others?

A quote by Jack Kerouac comes to mind. “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that god damn mountain”. I like the logic in this quote. The result does not have to be climbing a mountain necessarily, but you should go and explore whichever destination you would like to visit. The days you will remember are not those you spent in the office, but those when you huddled from the rain with your companions, had a banter, and collected memories that will last a long time after you unpack your gear.

Life has taught me that it could be very fragile, so I aim to enjoy every precious and unique moment the best I can. That is why I wanted to share this image. It is because for me, that is what photography is all about, memories.

12. Did you learn anything in the process of taking, editing, or sharing this photo?

As you can read in the comments people kindly wrote, I got some constructive reviews and thoughtful words. Some people shared their own experiences from this iconic location, which was fascinating to read.

13. Do you remember what you had for lunch the day you took this photo?

All six of us had lunch in the small coastal town of St. Just, at the Dog & Rabbit café. I had a Cheese and Chilli Jam toastie, which was delicious, followed by a Cappuccino.

14. What would you like people to take away from this photo?

I hope that people realize how beautiful the Cornish coastline is, with its blue-watered coves and rugged cliffs, which makes it a perfect location for both seascape and landscape photography.

15. What does photography mean to you?

Photography is a fun, stimulating hobby that gets many of us outdoors to shoot whatever we like. It always challenges me to stretch myself further. It is all about experimentation, looking for new compositions and subjects to capture. After all, the real way to learn is to experiment, reflect and try again. Learning is like a cycle. It never stops.

A few years ago, I asked a photographer about one of his landscape images. He said that “I was just lucky”. At the time, I thought that he accidentally stumbled across a scene. Now I know that there is so much more to producing a great landscape image. There is, without a doubt, an element of luck in sea & landscape photography, but also much planning is involved. It includes knowing which location you wish to shoot at, the weather conditions (e.g. will it rain? will there be fog, mist, or clouds in the sky?) parking location, and so forth. By planning in advance, you can have a scene in your mind even before you clicked the shutter button. In the UK, however, the weather is rather unpredictable. That is why some of my trips are decided at the very last minute, depending on the weather conditions.

So, what photography means to me? It means exploration, discovery, self-expression, and my ‘me-time’.

16. Is there anything else you want to share?

Females face different challenges than males in the photography sector, and the sea & landscape genre is particularly dominated by males. Over the years, I had many conversations and people are willing to admit that there are inequalities and under-representation of female photographers. My personal experience has been mainly positive. I am lucky to join many photography trips with different like-minded friends, who generously share their knowledge with me. I am aware, though, that other female photographers have a mix of experiences. Some were talked down regarding their technical knowledge, others were barred from joining male dominated trips, and a few faced unwanted advances. I am grateful that Flickr realizes the inequality female photographers face and has made a conscious effort to highlight female photographers in this community. A few inspiring examples come to mind. Renee, who specializes in mountain photography and Charlotte Hedman, who is one of the best all-rounder photographers I know and a friend of mine. Let us continue this conversation.


Photographer and Flickr member known as Wildlife & Nature Photography has been sharing her gorgeous seascape and landscape photography with the Flickr community since 2011. Check out her Flickr site to see more of her artistic and skilled approach to capturing all the beauty that the natural landscape has to offer.