<< Previous Next >>

::Giant Steps::

::Giant Steps::
Photo Information
Copyright: Julia Hollis (Runnerduck) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 381 W: 57 N: 616] (1851)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-22
Categories: Seascape
Camera: FujiFilm FinePix S5500, Hoya 55mm Cir-Polarizer
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/300 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-08-29 13:07
Viewed: 5570
Points: 27
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Bedruthan Steps - Cornwall

Bedruthan became a popular destination when Newquay developed as a holiday resort 100 years ago. Victorian visitors in their carriages found it a convenient attraction, and the local farmer responded to this interest by providing stalls for the horses on payment of the following tolls: 1s for a one-horse, 2s for a two-horse, and 4s for a four-horse vehicle. Pedestrians had nothing to pay.

The power of earth's natural forces is uppermost in the onlooker's mind. The outline of the stacks has changed in living memory, and the cliffs are constantly slipping into the sea so that to walk too near the edge is a hazardous undertaking.

The legend of a giant called Bedruthan using the beach stacks as stepping stones or 'steps' to achieve a not very obvious short cut across the bay seems to be a late nineteenth century invention trotted out to gullible tourists. No early reference to the story has been found and the truth is probably more prosaic. The first record of the name 'Bedruthan Steps' is in the 1851 edition of Murray's Handbook, and is likely to refer to the actual steps, or cliff staircase as it now is. Just north of Diggory's Island there was a beach access path called Pentire Steps. This was a zigzag route to the beach, but the bottom section has been carried away by a landslip.

'Rude flights of steps, cut in the profile of the cliffs, and fortified here and there by a crazy iron or timber hand-rail, lead to the shore ... The steps ... are ancient beyond knowledge, and have given a name to the place.'

Over the years, the steps have suffered from landslips and rock falls, and in the 1960's and early 1970's the beach was closed as no safe route was possible because of the crumbling rock. This lack of access was a danger in itself as foolhardy spirits were tempted to make their own way down.Then civil engineers developed a netting for securing broken rock beside motorways. This material, secured by rock bolts, was used at Bedruthan, and the new cliff staircase was opened in 1975.


Bedruthan Steps is just off the B3276 in between Porthcothan and Trenance.

It is an amazing place, well worth the visit if you are lucky enough to visit North Cornwall.

I appreciate all feedback received and apologise for not thanking you all in advance.

Thanks for taking the time to look

marhowie, TAZ, ellis49, Fisher, sAner, scottevers7, dsidwell, Janice, coasties, dew77, PDP, livios, AdrianW has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To AdrianW: WSRunnerduck 1 03-16 05:02
To PDP: ...Runnerduck 1 11-13 18:37
To captain: BedruthanRunnerduck 1 09-08 03:21
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Beautiful landscape Julia! Very well chosen POV. I found the legend of Bedruthan using the beach stacks as stepping stones a very interesting footnote to your photo, Well done!

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-08-29 13:43]

What a beautiful and interesting landscape that you have well captured ! Its different of my mountains ;-) Composition, colors and sharpness are very good ! Good note too... Thanks for sharing Julia.

Beautiful view, Julia.
The POV is very good.Well composed and good detials.
Very good and informative note.
Great work.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-08-29 16:05]

Hi Julia,

Beautiful view and well seen. Excellent composition and details.

O, way back when, Cornwall was going to be a spot to visit which I was looking forward to, however, we hit a truck and that put a stop to our plans. I was about 20 then, I'm 42 now. Dad was driving a Ford Cortina, we were very blessed to have survived the accident. Dad was the only one hurt, with the front bottom teeth knocked out, rest of us were fine.
Thanks for sharing this area. It would be nice to see it someday.


  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-08-29 16:36]

Hi Julia,

Wonderful shot. Good composition and good clear view. Nice POV excellent exposure. The note is very informative. Well done & TFS!


Hi Julia,
A very dramatic and beautiful seascape shot here. I think the composition and framing are excellent. Good color, detail, and DOF. I Love seascapes!!

Very nice landscape, Julia! I love the composition here, and the striking contrast between the rocks and sand. Good [email protected]

Out of smilies, sorry, but a big one for you!

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-08-30 2:49]

Smile now, critique later :-)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-08-30 3:50]

Hi Julia, I had a week's holiday on Cornwall in Sept 1999, and just loved it. So many interesting places to visit. I loved the little fishing villages built at the bottom of the hills. And thank you for your notes - very enjoyable to read.
Lovely bay here, quite sharp with strong contrasted colours. Well done and TFS.

Hi Julia

Lovely landscape. Nice POV with the rock in the foreground on the right. Good light and very well composed. Well done. TFS.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-08-30 8:20]

Impressive landscape shot Julia!
Your note is very good. TFS this beauty...

Bedruthian steps I know them well. This is a nice shot but I don't feel that it does them justice. A nice seascape. Did you do any on the beach itself ???

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-11-13 14:28]
  • [+]

Hi Julia, Giant Steps is also the name of a very good John Coltrane LP, so I like it for the title already. It's a very well composed landscape and I love the browns of the rocks. The sky is a little overexposed but there are a number of ways of getting tht foreground as well lit as you have and having the sky correctly exposed. You could use a graduated Natural density filter, even if you held one over the lens. The next alternative is to try a polarising filter (which I know you have) but this can sometimes give an odd result or you can take two shots one with the sky correctly exposed and one of the foreground then with some jiggerypokery in PS you can get one very well exposed shot.

Nice job.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-11-15 13:18]

Julia, a suggestive picture with a very nice mood. How great my vacations are about to come.

Great pov and composition. I like colors too.

Good shot! I particularly like the combination of rugged shoreline and jagged rocks. Exposure was tricky - sea spray is very pale, but the rocks are very dark - so you've done well to keep everything in range. If you'd like them slightly less contrasty, I've posted a Workshop for you here - not necessarily an improvement, just a different way to look at it :) Useful note as usual! Thanks for sharing :-D

Calibration Check