on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End Frame: Shell Pocket Twilight by Joe Cornish

David Speight chooses one of his favourite images

David Speight

David Speight is a Yorkshire based professional landscape photographer, most at home capturing images of the nearby Yorkshire Dales, Coast and surrounding areas. He runs a busy schedule of group and one to one workshops which take place in some of the most scenic areas of the U.K. and his work has been commended in the UK landscape photographer of the year on a number of occasions.


Firstly, it’s an honour to be asked to write the End frame article for On Landscape magazine, so thank you very much Tim and Charlotte for that. When I initially read the email from On Landscape, I had no hesitation whatsoever in my first choice of photograph. I was quite busy at the time with workshops, however, so I didn’t get a chance to look at the image again, with this article in mind for maybe another week or so. In that time, I began to think more about my choice. I think Some favourite photographs can be compared to favourite tracks or albums of the past. You might very well have played the CD to destruction back in the day, but listen to it now (and especially with your kids present). Well, lets just say time moves on! Thankfully, once I had the chance to grapple my copy of Joe Cornish’s First Light out of our cramped and creaking bookshelf, a wave of comfortable reassurance swept over me as I looked at this image once again. Even though I’ve probably not looked through the book in over ten years, I was highly relieved to think that this image, in my opinion anyway, can be compared to one of those timeless classics that you can come back and listen to again and again, and still get the same thoughts and feelings you did the very first time you heard it.

While looking through First Light, it also dawned on me that many of the images in the book, especially Shell Pocket Twilight, are much more than just a photograph. They are a point in time when all those natural forces and processes that shape and change the landscape around us suddenly stand still. Having visited Mewslade Bay and other locations along the Gower Peninsula more than once myself (after seeing First Light), I was inspired to have a go at creating my own set of images from here. What is immediately apparent is that this location is ridiculously difficult, not to mention downright dangerous to reach. If there’s a polar opposite to those famous round Dolerite boulders at Dunstanburgh in Northumberland, then I think this must be it! The Limestone cliffs here are made up of a series of sharp edges and jagged, dagger like protrusions, and any slip while attempting to climb over the cliff, and into the cove, would almost certainly result in serious injury. As far as I know, unless there’s a spring tide, the sea hardly clears the entrance to the cove, even at low tide, making it treacherous to get in and out that way before your exit is cut off. Needless to say, I never got to actually see this part of the bay!

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