Gallery of Aerial Photography ~ Cornwall & The Isles of Scilly

Cornwall From Above ~ A Guide For World Leaders

The G7 Summit officially begins today in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

The United States President Joe Biden arrived at Newquay Airport late on Wednesday night, and then drove to Carbis Bay. His official Helicopter, 'Marine One', was restricted because of the weather: a mixture of fog and light-rain known locally as 'mizzle'.

As many of the World Leaders will have helicopters at their disposal, and with Cornwall set for a sunny weekend, we thought we'd put together a little guide of the best sights for them to see and look out for from the air.

1.) St. Ives Bay

carbis bay dawn

Carbis Bay at Dawn by Kristian Ponsford

World Leaders are staying in Carbis Bay, which is itself in the much larger St. Ives Bay. This is one of the most picturesque and idyllic areas of Cornwall. Flying over this bay, leaders will see: eight miles of golden sands, Hayle Estuary, and Godrevy Lighthouse on its own island.

2.) St. Michael's Mount 

st michaels mount g7

Marazion & St. Michaels Mount by Simon Smith

President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were supposed to have a pre-G7 meeting at St. Michael's Mount, a castle on a tidal island in Mounts Bay, but this had to be changed due to the 'mizzly' weather.

Still, St. Michael's Mount is just six miles from Carbis Bay as the crow flies, and so any world leader wanting to take in this sight could be there by helicopter in just a couple of minutes.

3.) Perranporth Beach

perranporth panorama

Perranporth Beach By Simon Smith

Just sixteen miles up the coast from Carbis Bay lies Perranporth Beach. With a beautiful stretch of sand at low tide, Perranporth is the site where Christianity was first brought to England from Ireland in the 6th Century by St. Piran.

Flying up the North Coast of Cornwall to Perranporth, leaders would also get to take in the dramatic scenary that makes up Cornwall's mining heritage coast.

4.) Falmouth

falmouth harbour

Falmouth Harbour by Brendan Fitzgerald

Just twenty miles from Carbis Bay, and on the South Coast of Cornwall, lies the historic town of Falmouth. Falmouth is one of the largest natural harbours in the world, and the deepest in Europe. The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth will be home to the International Media Centre for the G7 Summit.

4.) Carn Brea

carn brea

Carn Brea by Simon Smith

Carn Brea is a landmark hill, that lies between Camborne and Redruth, that can be seen for miles around Cornwall. On top is a small Castle, and a monument to Francis Basset a mine owner.

At its peak, Cornish Mining meant that this was one of the wealthiest areas in the world. Now, however, this part of Cornwall is one of the poorest in the UK.

World Leaders might well fly over Carn Brea on the way to their banquet with the Royal Family tonight at the Eden Project.

5.) The Eden Project

Fly Over The Eden Project by Duncan Scobie

The Eden Project is the largest rainforest in captivity, and an educational charity teaching about the environmental challenges faced by humanity.

World Leaders will meet the Queen and other members of the Royal Family at the Eden project tonight for a banquet. The above video should give you some idea of what there is to be seen when flying over.

More Information on Cornwall and G7:

 By Jamie Turnbull

Flying Through Truro Catherdral ~ Choristers Sing For G7

What's it like to look down on Truro Choristers from the vaulted ceilings of Truro Cathedral? What does an Angel's-eye view of the Cathedral look like?

Cornwall will host the G7 new week. Sing2G7 is a new song that aims to give children a way to communicate with world leaders, and to educate them through music.

Here Duncan Scobie gives you an exclusive behind the scenes look at filming for the Sing2G7 music video.

Truro Choristers sing Sing2G7 in Truro Cathedral

The song Sing2G7 calls on the history of the number 7, and what makes it unique and different. By the time the G7 summit starts the organisers of Sing2G7 hope that 50,000 young singers from all over the world will have joined the programme in singing, learning, and sharing the message to world leaders.

inside truro cathedral

An Angel's eye view from the top of Truro Cathedral

Duncan Scobie was the aerial cameraman for the Sing2G7 video. Flying a drone inside a building like Truro Cathedral is difficult because all of the usual safety features, such as the GPS system and proximity sensors, need to be switched off.

Aerial Footage of Truro Cathedral

What this means is that the drone will not hover in place, and needs to be constantly controlled. Strong drafts create additional risks, as air rushes to equalise pressure around large buildings. In short, getting aerial footage in this location required an expert pilot. 

truro catherdral

Portrait of Truro Cathedral

Duncan explained that as he was giving the safety briefing to the Choristers one of them put his hand up to say that he had a drone at home, and so could appreciate just how much skill was going to be required to fly around the inside of the Cathedral.

duncan scobie sing2g7

Duncan Scobie flying in Truro Cathedral

The Sing2G7 project has been getting the attention of the world's media.

You can follow Sing2G7 for updates on:

By Jamie Turnbull

Find Us In The Latest Issue Of My Cornwall Magazine

Look out for us in the latest issue of My Cornwall Magazine, the June-July issue 2021 (vol. 2, 66).

You can find a full five pages dedicated to Perrans Above, otherwise known as 'Cornwall's Aerial Photography Collective', on page 37.

my cornwall magazine

You can find the on-line version of the issue here.

perrans above my cornwall

This issue contains words and photographs by:

Look out for us in future issues of My Cornwall magazine.

By Jamie Turnbull

Special Delivery ~ Drone Delivers Engagement Ring

Aerial photographers usually get comissioned to supply footage for television, or to create photographs to be given as birthday presents or retirement gifts.

Duncan Scobie was recently hired for a different job - to deliver an engagement ring by drone!

Duncan had to obtain special permission from RNAS Culdrose to fly a drone in the no-fly zone surrounding it, and also from the Polurrian Hotel.

As you can see from the above video, everything went according to plan for happy couple Jamie Hoskin and Lee Parkes.

drone delivers engagement ring

A picture of the couple sitting outside the Polurrian Hotel, on the Lizard Peninsula, to commemorate the special day.

Is this the first engagement ring delivery by drone? It was certainly newsworthy, as the story was picked up by BBC Spotlight and BBC Radio Cornwall.

  • You can read more about this story in the Falmouth Packet
  • You can see more pictures of the Lizard Peninsula in our collection.

WithNature ~ A Tapestry of Species ~ Perranporth

Saturday the 22nd of May 2021 was the International Day For Biological Diversity. To mark this day, raise awareness of biological diversity, and prompt action on environmental protection ‘WithNature2020’ organised a global event called ‘A Tapestry Of Species’.


Part of the live event which appeared on the Youtube Livestream

The idea was to create animal sculptures all over the world, to highlight local species that are under threat. Eighteen events took place worldwide from New Zealand to Australia, Europe to the USA.

withnature2020 perranporth

Volunteers start to assemble the butterfly sculpture

Perranporth Marine Conservation Group organised an event at Perranporth school, sculpting a Silver-studded Blue Butterfly, which is native to the local sand dunes.  The sculpture was designed by local artist Pip Bryson.

butterfly sculpture perranporth

Sculptors using material and clothes donated by the local community

As the organisers of the event outlined, this butterfly was chosen because it “is one of our most threatened butterfly species and therefore requires special conservation action. The butterfly has declined enormously during the past century because much of its habitat has been destroyed by our human activity. Worryingly, it is now virtually absent from four-fifths of its former range and it has declined by 71% since 1800. It lives in the sand dunes and heathlands of Cornwall”.

silver-studded blue butterfly

One Silver-studded Blue Butterfly finished


A group of volunteers brought the sculpture to life, supported by Cornwall Butterfly Conversation, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Dynamic Dunescapes, and Perranporth School.

biodiversity event perranporth

The finished sculpture from above

This was a busy day as all of the footage had to be shot and edited in just five hours, to be part of the WithNature2020 Livestream event on Youtube.

By Jamie Turnbull

Are These The Last Aerial Photographs Of St. Michael's Mount?

The historic island and castle of St. Michael's Mount is one of the most photographed landmarks in Cornwall, so much so that it has its own collection in the gallery.

Indeed 'The Mount' is such an idyllic location it is rumoured to be being used to film the prequel to Game of Thrones - called House of The Dragon.

michaels mount sunset

Golden Sunset by Charlie Newlands

While popular for photography, taking aerial photographs of the Mount has been complicated by the fact that it is surrounded by National Trust Land - on which drones are prohibited.


Marazion To St. Michael's Mount by Brendan Fitzgerald

By carefully selecting a launching and landing site, it has still be possible for drone operators to fly to the Mount to photograph it.* That is, until now...

st. michael's mount

St. Michael's Mount Portrait by George Cryer

However, the days of taking aerial photographs of St. Michael's Mount are now effectively over! The reason for this is that the Mount lies in a newly established Flight Restricted Zone, to protect helicopter flights from Penzance to The Isles of Scilly from the new Penzance Heliport.

 michaels mount panorama

St. Michael's Mount Panorama by Duncan Scobie

Drones are not permitted within two nautical miles of the heliport which means that, without special permission, the days of photographing the Mount from the air by drone are over.

st michael's mount dawn

St. Michael's Mount Sunrise by Kristian Ponsford

You might still, of course, get a good shot from the helicopter!

By Jamie Turnbull

* We ask that all our photographers: follow the drone code, hold all necessary CAA permissions, have complied with all rules and restrictions, and have sought all required permissions for their images. Perrans Above accepts no liability for images which are obtained without the necessary permissions, or which break the law.

Developing From The Negative ~ Seeing Bodmin Moor Anew

I predominantly photograph seascapes. During the Coronavirus lockdowns I was obviously unable to travel to my usual spots on the Cornish coasts to take pictures.

frosty morning bodmin moor

Frosty Morning near Cardinham, Bodmin Moor

I soon realised that this was a golden opportunity to explore, experience and experiment with new locations. I had more time to explore my local area and shoot the rural countryside.

millpool bodmin sunset

Sunset, Millpool, Bodmin Moor

I also discovered that by visiting areas at different times of day - for example at sunrise and sunset, that you can get acquainted with how the light and mood brings the landscape alive. This familiarity really opens your eyes and you get to see the hidden beauty revealed.

cardinham bodmin moor

Landscape near Cardinham, Bodmin Moor

I’ve also had time to try out new techniques and be more creative. By experimenting, and having failures and successes, I’ve used the time to get a little bit better at my craft.

hawks tor bodmin moor

Landscape of Hawks Tor, Bodmin Moor

I now have a new love of the Bodmin countryside and Moors, and plan to capture a lot more inland shots.

tor bodmin moor

Self-Portrait at Sunset

I’m focusing on how the local countryside and Moors change throughout the seasons. I have found this to be a big positive to a very negative situation.

By Carl Brightman

Check Out The May Editions Of Cornwall Living

Look out for the latest editions of Cornwall Living Magazine - where you can find us!

Our competition and product features can be found in the May Issue of Cornwall Living (issue 108), and in the London Special Edition.

may cornwall living

Cornwall Living, May 2021

cornwall living london edition

Cornwall Living, London Special Edition

We're giving away a large aerial panorama of your choice, worth £150.

To enter simply visit the competitions page on the Cornwall Living website and fill in the entry form.

Look out for more coverage of the Perrans Above Gallery soon.


Exploring Perranporth ~ Extreme Tides

April is renowned for its full moon – the biggest and brightest of the year!

With this moon comes spring tides (‘spring’ being the name given to the tides with the biggest shift between high and low). Spring tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun aligning, and the combined force pulling the ocean in the same direction.

The week of the 26th of April 2021 saw some of the most extreme tides of the year. Tides this big will not be seen again until October 2021, so I took the opportunity to get some photographs.

wateringhole perranporth

Dawn light meets high tide at the UK’s only bar on a beach, The Wateringhole. On this day high tide and dawn corresponded almost exactly to the minute.

Built on an island of sand The Wateringhole is in danger of tidal flooding when spring tide coincides with a low pressure system and gale force winds, as happened in 2007.

 high and low spring tides perranporth

On the extreme tides this week the sea dropped a depth of nearly 7.5 metres between high and low.

These shots were taken on the same day, at exactly high and low tide. In the six hours between the two shots half a mile of beach has been exposed.

 penhale caves

The extreme low tide makes accessible certain places that are usually underwater. These huge caves at Penhale Point can only be reached a couple of times a year.

In the above shot the explorers have timed their visit perfectly, as the low tide gives only a short window between the caves being revealed and the sea starting to come back in again. Staying too long risks tidal cut-off, which is extremely dangerous (you can see a shot of people being cut off by the tide at Perranporth here).


droskyn cave

Looking out of one of the caves at Droskyn Point.

Exploring caves in Cornwall, and particularly Perranporth, can be dangerous. The danger comes not just from the tide, but from fact that many caves lead to mine workings – the mine workings here are the oldest in the country, dating back some 2,000 years. There have been both human and animal fatalities in the recent past and so if you’re planning on exploring caves then please be extremely careful.

 lifeguard station perran sands

Perranporth Lifeguards suggested I take a photo of the Lifeguard hut at Perran Sands on the extreme high tide, to help raise tidal awareness.

Many people are familiar with walking down the zigzag walkway at Perran Sands straight on to the beach, but seeing it with the sea up against it is a much rarer sight.

We’ve been working on a tidal awareness campaign with Perranporth Lifeguards… so if you’re visiting Perran Sands then look out for RNLI tidal awareness posters.

 By Jamie Turnbull

Perranporth Lifeguard Training

We were asked to go and take some photos of the Perranporth RNLI training new recruits at Hanover Cove.

Hanover Cove is named after the ship the Hanover, which was wrecked there in 1763. Out of the 67 people on board only 3 survived!

It is dangerous coastline, with hidden underwater rocks and few places to get out of the water should you find yourself in it. A fitting place to be trained how to save lives at sea.

 rnli at hanover cove

With holidays abroad restricted this year, Cornwall is due to be very busy.

Perranporth lifeguards are expected to deal with about 2,000 incidents and so being well prepared is crucial.

Incidents will include: giving first aid, searching for lost children, and saving people from rip currents and tidal cut-offs. Being cut off by the tide can happen very easily, especially on spring tides when the sea moves quickly.

tidal cut off perranporth

Here's a shot of people scrambling over rocks at Perranporth, having been cut off by the tide last year. Luckily they only ended up getting wet, and didn't need rescuing on this occasion.

To prepare for emergencies Lifeguards practice rescuing an unconscious casualty from rocks, using an 11 stone orange mannequin.

unconscious tube rescue of casualty from rocks

These Lifeguards are being assessed for inflatable rescue boat and rescue water craft (jetski) operations.

lifeguards resting

Lifeguards take a well deserved five minute rest from training.

  • If you happen to find yourself in trouble in the water, then the best thing to do is follow the advice from the RNLI's 'Float To Live' campaign.
  • You can find out more about St. Agnes and Perranporth Lifeguards in this recent article from The Guardian.
  • You can follow Perranporth Lifeguards on Instagram here.

By Jamie Turnbull