Matt from Aerial Cornwall is passionate about capturing the natural beauty of the Cornish landscape.
I’ve been a fan of his stunning photography for several months now, and I thought it would be great to get to know the man behind the lens…
Could you give me a little background information about yourself? Have you always lived in Cornwall?
“Sure… I’m 26 years old, love the outdoors and obviously love Cornwall. I like to spend my spare time at the beach, scuba diving, walking the dogs, cycling and of course taking some photos. I was actually born in a place called Wendover in Buckinghamshire but I moved to Cornwall when I was 18 months old so it’s pretty much all I know.”
“Coverack harbour, one of my favourites. All the boats are in and aligned and the water is clear. It’s a beautiful spot, a perfect place to sit with some fish and chips and a pint of Tribute!”
How did you start getting into photography in general?
“I’ve always liked photography, or at least had an appreciation for it. I never splashed out on an expensive DSLR or anything but loved the concept of GoPros; take anywhere, use for anything, can take a bit of a pounding. I picked one up before I went out to the Philippines a couple of years ago, started to use it for diving, and then used it more and more on a daily basis. For a small camera they’re pretty impressive. I just love how unique the shots can be from it, you can get some pretty epic content!
About a year ago I purchased a multi rotor UAV and starting taking photos. I said to a mate at work that I’m going to set up a website for it, maybe call it Aerial Photography of Cornwall by Matthew Burtwell; he said “Why don’t you just call it Aerial Cornwall!?” I thought, ok let’s run with that…
“I saw ‘One Man and His Rake’ online and wanted to take some shots to really grasp the scale of Chris’s beach art. This was taken at Rinsey and took him around 45 minutes to complete.”
What do you love about aerial photography?
“Aerial photography is amazing isn’t it? Seeing somewhere you’re so familiar with from the air gives you a completely different take on the place. Luckily for me, in Cornwall everywhere is very photogenic, and capturing a beach from the air gives it that extra zing! You can see just how clear the water is, how steep the cliffs are, just getting that different angle is a wonderful thing. I love taking photos around the coast, if you see my website there are very few inland (I think only 1 actually) But that’s just me; personally I like the coastal stuff.”
“I don’t surf but I could watch it all day. This is Porthleven with a big swell back in November. It’s good to capture some action and surfing is perfect for that. Surfer: Unknown.”
What does your ‘camera kit’ consist of?
“So I have a hard waterproof case to keep everything secure. In there I basically have the drone itself, a remote controller, 4 x propellers plus spares, 3 x batteries (with around 15-20 minutes flight time each), 2 x GoPros, 2 x memory cards, a screen so I have a first person view from the camera and a few other bits and bobs. It’s fairly light and portable, so pretty handy if there’s a bit of a walk to the destination. It’s good to check out Google Maps for ideas and see where could look interesting… I actually give Culdrose a quick courtesy call before I set out to shoot in case they have helicopters doing some low fly training. Safety first!”
The Helford River
“A camping trip from last June at Tremayne Quay up the Helford. This was taken at 6am, good timing with a high spring tide, water like glass and was the start of a hot summers day! I like the reflection of the clouds on the water and the single boat moored up.”
What would you say makes the perfect photo?
“Hmm that’s a tough question isn’t it? When you find the answer please let me know!
I would say timing, but with aerial photos height and positioning is pretty crucial. Good weather and light always helps too! I guess it’s down to the individual; people like different photos for different reasons. It’s good to get a more composed shot like the one of the boats in the harbour, which proved quite popular; I might try and aim for more photos in that style in the future.”
“This headland is just south of Coverack so close to home for me. Cornwall at it’s finest, crystal clear water and deep blue skies!”