cool stuff

Going underground...

20 May 2019

You never know what assignments are going to land on your desk, sometimes photo shoots are booked weeks in advance and come with spreadsheets of shots required and a detailed brief. Other times, it's an email with a brief description of what's needed and a meeting point from where I have to be prepared for almost anything. I often travel light when it comes to photography kit, a Nikon 7200 body with a couple of lenses and speedlight stuffed into a tough Billingham bag and tripod balanced over my shoulder. It covers most eventualities, including unexpectedly going down a mine. I had thought it was mostly going to be exterior shots of South Crofty mine at Pool, but it turned out to be a trip underground as well, which was all kinds of fascinating. 

Once we'd been kitted out with our protective safety gear, we trundled down the mine in a clattery landrover, after about 800ft, we got out and continued on foot. Clearly, one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to taking photos down the mine is the complete absence of any natural light. This, along with tricky conditions underfoot and water dripping from above made for interesting shooting conditions. Setting up long exposure shots on the tripod and then illuminating the various compositions with a headtorch worked surprisingly well. Focusing took consideration, mostly because I could barely see anything through the viewfinder! But after a little trial and error with shutter speeds, I managed to come away with a handful of shots. 

With thanks to South Crofty Mine and Cornwall Trade & Investment for this assignment, it's an experience that will stay with me for a while. 

~ Sal


Above: South Crofty Mine at Pool.


Above: Heading to the mine entrance in the old Landy.


Above: The tunnel that leads down into the mine itself.


Above: The ventilation system way below ground.



Posted in: cool stuff, pictures

The Roseland Peninsula - Part 1.

07 Jan 2019


Above: Pendower beach at low tide with Nare Head in the background.


If you're coming to visit us here at Design Room for a meeting or just a catch-up over coffee, it's worth keeping in mind that we're situated in the heart of the Roseland Peninsula which is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We regularly make use of our proximity to this gorgeous part of Cornwall to help clear our heads after a long day at a screen - it’s good for thinking, for creativity and mental wellbeing in general.


There’s a multitude of opportunities for outdoor activities both on and off the water and of course eating and drinking. Over some upcoming blog posts, we’ll outline a few of our favourite places here on the Roseland to maybe inspire you to explore this area a little bit whilst you’re here.


Firstly, we’ll start with a short walk that starts at Pendower beach which is about a 10 minute drive from the Design Room studio. Pendower is a gorgeous beach, backed by low dunes and a tranquil wooded valley. At low tide, Pendower joins with Carne to form a huge sweep of beach that stretches around to the imposing Nare Head. It’s a stunning place and a firm favourite of ours. 


Terrain: Woodland trail and beach

Footwear: Wellies, especially in winter

Parking: Cliffside parking down Rocky Lane, just past Ruan High Lanes, off the A3078

Distance: 2 miles approx


Walk down towards the beach and wind your way through the small dunes to the National Trust car park. At the back of this car park, there’s a path that leads into the lush green woods. It follows a small river and winds through pretty woodland where it opens out to a few houses. Continue walking past the houses on to a little wooden bridge and on up a steep section that brings you up out of the trees. Keep walking a little further, following the path back down again towards a quiet country lane where you’ll find Melinsey Mill. Melinsey Mill is a very pretty spot by a large pond and a great place to stop for tea and cake where you can watch the bird life in and around the water - if you’re lucky you can spot a kingfisher. Follow the trail back down the valley to Pendower and if the tide is out, you can a lovely stomp on the beach too.


Above: The woodland behind Pendower beach.... or a portal to another world?


Above: Re-entering the woods on the walk back to the beach


Above: Walking past the houses to Melinsey Mill, obey the yellow arrow!

Posted in: cool stuff, The Roseland

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