What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Words and Pictures


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Aaron Jenkin at Nugget Point Lighthouse

There have been a lot of photographers I’ve admired and shared since I started this blog, but this is the first time the photos come complete with charming anecdotes.

Travel and landscape photographer Aaron Jenkin aims to transport his viewers, and to inspire them to explore the world for themselves. He uses an “advanced method of exposure blending (whatever that means) to tell a story. But even better, he also shares the actual stories behind his magnificent photos!

Jenkin tells that he took the photo above at the Nugget Point Lighthouse, one of his favorite spots in New Zealand.

“We scrambled up the cliff and perched on the edge. Huddled under a blanket we watched the shooting stars high above and listened to the waves crash far below. We stayed for the best part of 7 hours waiting for the Milky Way to rise above the horizon and line up. It was quite windy so at times I was pretty scared my camera or one of us would be blown off the cliff.. Everyone/everything was fine.”

What a great description! I can imagine just how that must have felt. If you want to know how it feels for real, Jenkin offers periodic night photography workshops in his native Cornwall.

You can see and purchase Jenkin’s jaw-dropping photos on his website, and you can (and should) follow his travels and read his stories on Facebook and Instagram.

All images property of Aaron Jenkin.

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I almost got speared by a bull for this. The night wasn’t going too well.. I had forgotten my tripod head, making the heavy tripod legs I had been carrying around completely useless. I searched my bag over and over, I even walked back to the van just in case I had taken it out for some mad reason. I hadn’t taken it out, it wasn’t there, I had left it at home. This was particularly frustrating as the conditions were perfect! I sat and stared at my bag not knowing what to do, perhaps I should drive home, get the tripod head and catch the last of the milky way just before light? Maybe it is in my bag and I just missed it the first ten times I looked? Should I just give up and crawl into bed? I could get a fresh start at sunrise and make the most of tomorrow. No, I thought, I’m going to try to capture something. I headed back out with a wimpy gorilla pod in my hands, a feeble device that would surely not hold the weight of my camera and wide angle lens. I walked back to the field, making my way further in, until the milky way was lined up with the lighthouse. To my surprise I found that I could actually balance my camera on the hedge and the composition wasn’t all too horrible! It wasn’t good, but at least it was level and I had the main elements of the image in the frame. I busily locked in my settings, found focus, checked the focus, and took an exposure. The back of the camera exploded into colour and detail, the milky way looked glorious. I started to think that my persistence may actually pay off. Just as I was marvelling at the results of my haphazard set up I heard something, a loud grunt a few feet behind me. It was dark, I had no idea what the hell it could be. I jumped up onto the hedge and turned around. Shining my headtorch I saw two big red eyes, with enormous horns emerging from either side. It was a bull, a big bull standing there staring right at me. He was grunting and snorting, and was clearly not pleased that I was in his field. He started to walk slowly past, my camera and lenses down there with him.. (maddeningly, there is no resolution to this story, because Jenkin ran out of characters!)

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This is the day my camera died… We decided to head up to the fields nice and early, giving us time to explore the area. The weather was glorious, blistering hot with barely any wind. We walked the paths around the fields, admiring the flowers and watching the bees buzz. It’s an incredibly beautiful area and the poppies were in full swing. The conditions were perfect!🌞. I found a composition that I was happy with and waited for the scene to change. Soft warm light was hitting the poppies, and the clouds were looking excellent for sunset. We still had plenty of time, just waiting for the colour in the clouds to come. We watched as lots of other photographers came and went, the light starting to fade on the poppies and the temperature beginning to drop. I could see that the clouds were close to catching with colour, so I flicked off a test shot to check my exposure, the camera clicked and when I reviewed the image I noticed a strange band of light across my frame.. Immediately I knew something was wrong. The live view showed a black band from top to bottom. And I knew it, my shutter had failed.. My heart sank, my camera was dead, with a shutter count of just 78k. That sunset was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, the colour was rich and intense, spanning the whole sky, I’m sure a lot of you experienced it last Sunday. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture any of the colour, so here’s an image from slightly earlier in the day. I think it’s probably better without an awesome sky anyway…

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Something truly incredible happened on a recent night photography shoot with @stucornell. We arrived at the location early and as we walked along the coast path we spotted these strange green lights dotted around. We couldn’t quite believe it, and under further inspection we saw that the green lights were in fact glowworms! I was so excited, it’s one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had, something pretty rare in this part of the world. We spent half of the shoot trying to capture the glowworms and the stars together, after an hour or so they burrowed down out of sight. Just before this one turned in for the night I got this image.

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Porth Chapel is one of my all time favourite beaches, I’ve spent a lot of time here, but never spent the night until now. It was absolutely beautiful, completely dark, just the light from the stars. The waves were crashing below and I had to constantly wipe sea spray from my lens.

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I almost didn’t take this image. I spent most of the evening driving around looking for somewhere that I had once been when I was a child. I was so frustrated by the fact that I didn’t find it that I almost gave up, almost to return home with an empty card.. I decided to push on, and at the very least get out of the car and walk off my frustration. I arrived at an old favourite location of mine and was greeted by rolling sea mist and not another soul in sight. It was absolutely breathtaking, I felt so isolated, completely alone in the elements. Much of the coast was obscured, but through the mist I could see the location I had initially been searching for! Just the next cove along.. It was too late to go there this time, but next time I know exactly where it is!

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Early mornings are an acquired love for me, but always worth it. I have to work hard to keep it up, as I tend to slip back into my old night owl habits. There is just something amazing about watching the sun break over the horizon and illuminate the landscape with warm beautiful light. Everything looks magical at sunrise and It definitely feels more special to me than a sunset does.  This morning at Corfe Castle was exceptionally beautiful, with only a few hours sleep we marched up the hill and watched as the sun rose, and the last of the mist disappeared.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

19 thoughts on “Words and Pictures

  1. I love night sky and goodness does he do it well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post, Donna. I loved seeing all these amazing photos. The stories really add a wonderful human touch to these photographic adventures. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, they are beautiful photo’s. I hope it is just me but everytime I see a photo like these, I wonder how much Photoshop played into the finish product and probably don’t give the artist enough credit. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful images and it is really interesting to read the blurbs for each image and have that insight into the context and the photographer’s mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG. Love this. I have a photographer up here in Michigan whose work is similar. I took a class from her to learn night photography but of course that night was filled with rain, wind, and eventually sleet. I’m still trying to get an image like any of these. Someday I will. I love his stories too.

    Go look at snaphappygal’s work. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Wow…gobsmacked. Truly beautiful.


  8. Absolutely incredible photos.
    Re the night sky, amazing what we can perceive when there are no lights of ‘civilization’ around to interfere!


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