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ILLUMINATED Landscapes

This is a series of ‘Lighted Landscapes’ : Part 1 – Mine buildings and structures between Cape Cornwall and Geevor Tin Mine, West Penwith, Cornwall

standing_stone_sunrise_photograph

LANDSCAPES AND SEASCAPES

A collection of landscapes and seascapes mostly from my local Cornwall

Travel photography

A collection of images from Namibia and South Africa

nature and wildlife

A collection of images that showcase some of the wonders of our local nature and wildlife

Green copper stained cliffs at Geevor, West Penwith, Cornwall

along the tin coast

A guide series for photographers and visitors to the Tin Coast, West Penwith, Cornwall

wedding photography, wedding photographer cornwall

PORTraiture, family, wedding

Some studio work but mostly outdoors, natural, candid portraits and wedding photography

“Seeing with feeling”

– Michelle Blaken

ABOUT ME

My name is Michelle Blaken.  Having grown up in South Wales as a Welsh speaking English girl, my early passion for photography was kindled when my mother bought me my first camera for my ninth birthday –  a little plastic Kodak of some sort that took funny little rolls of film that produced the most miniature negatives.  I remember the excitement of waiting for my prints to come back through the post from ‘Truprint’ after having sent them away a week or so earlier.   At the age of seventeen I studied a two year Btec in photography – and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Now, I live in ‘The Wild West’ of Penwith, Cornwall – with my husband and two teenage children.  Living on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty here in Botallack is naturally inspiring for my photography and reminds me of the dramatic scenery of the Brecon Beacons where I originally began developing my passion.  It is obviously different but equally breath-taking, treacherous and humbling.

Photography helps me to express how I see the World around me in a very succinct way – and more importantly – to share this experience with others.  Diversity is key and the challenge of capturing almost any subject in any scenario is always exhilarative.

Preservation of a particular moment by way of producing a photograph for others- to look upon, enjoy, discuss and recall for time to come- is a privilege.  Whilst the main draw for my photographic practice rests in the lap of landscape, seascape and nature photography, I also enjoy the thrill of the chase though a lens along-side the sports pitch, perhaps while either of my children compete or whilst strolling through the crowds at an event such as the Great Dorset Steam Fair with an eye on the viewfinder. 

Over the years, since the early 1990’s, the path I travelled explored different avenues, but the desire to make photographs and capture imagery never left me.  In 2012 myself and my husband Charlie, having farmed all his life in Gloucestershire, purchased a 100-pitch campsite near Land’s End in Cornwall and moved there with our two young children.  It was here in Cornwall that the spark for photography was truly re-lit.  In my spare time I began venturing out with my camera locally – and found that my images were often admired by our guests.  Soon we developed our bar and restaurant area to incorporate an exhibition space to accommodate a more comprehensive compilation of the striking local imagery that I had been creating.

Whilst on a trip in Namibia in 2016 I made a portrait of a young Himba woman there that won me a two-page spread in the Guardian Newspaper on my return home.  In many ways this image became a defining moment for me – that such profoundness could be encapsulate in a single image. 

The Cornwall Wildlife Calendar (2019) also chose an image of mine –  a ‘Trio of seals at play in the surf’ on Mutton Cove in Cornwall – for the February image in that edition of the calendar.

When my husband retired we subsequently sold our campsite business and I embarked on a degree course in Photography and Media at Truro College and am currently following my heart and taking my art to a new level.  I hope you will now take the time to browse through some of my work and enjoy my seeing with feeling.

Michelle Blaken
Trio of Seals at play, Mutton Cove, Cornwall
A Himba woman cleanses herself with Camphor smoke, Northern Namibia