Over 200 years countless ships passed through these harbour walls in connection with the china clay trade and the whole area was until relatively recent times coated in white dust. Charlestown Harbour was built in the 1790s by Charles Rashleigh, after whom the port is now named, replacing the tiny fishing hamlet of West Polmear. Like Porthleven it is double harbour and this late afternoon shot shows the outer walls.
It is owned now by Square Sail and the inner harbour is used to house its tall ships, which have featured in many films, as has the harbour itself. At the time of writing this it is for sale. £1.5 million will acquire you the harbour, another £1.5 million some adjacent land and a further £1.4 million will get you the tall ships and other assets of Square Sail.
It is one of my favourite places on the South Cornwall coast and I hope whoever buys it will not succumb to the temptation of modernising the area.
Charlestown, St Austell, Cornwall, UK
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikkor 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6
Focal Length: 16mm
Shutter Speed: 1/1250s
This image, perhaps, looks like a write off out of the camera with the sky apparently lacking in any detail. The beauty of high bit depth RAW files, however, is that the detail needed is often lurking in the file just waiting to be extracted. This was achieved here partly with the tonality sliders in Lightroom before being processed with the black and white toning plugin Silver Efex Pro. There are many ways to skin a cat and whilst there other tools that probably do things equally well but I am a big fan of the 'structure' slider in this plugin for manipulating micro contrast in an image. Here it was used, with the contrast and brightness sliders, to darken the image and to further enhance the detail in the sky. This was then blended back in as a luminosity layer. This darkened the harbour wall too much so this was selected, the same settings applied, but the luminosity layer blended back in at 70%.