Brent Tor, rain and a quiet bank holiday 27th August 2012

I decided to climb the brief summit up to Brent Tor despite the weather today, I needed to get out and about. I realised also, that I hadn’t been up to the medieval church built on the Ion age hill fort for a couple of years.

I think the best image I got today is above, looking up at the Tor from the car park, as ever a black and white conversion works well when dealing with flat overcast light.

It nearly killed me to climb the steep summit 🙂 but it was worth it to see the misty view and feel the onset on Autumn weather I find it incredible that the church yard is used the few graves that are there always seem so weather beaten.

It also forms part of the St Michael ley line that runs down to Penazance and St Michael’s Mount, and it is well worth a visit :).

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Wistmans Wood Shoot August 23rd 2012

I have ended up leading teaching sessions at this location several times this year and each time I go, it seems different.

This time, in late summer on this overcast yet sometimes sunny day the ancient oaks leaves were dark green and the rowan berries were in evidence.

My student wanted to cover some macro techniques in her session so we set up her tripod and concentrated on the tiny examples of plant life that the location has to offer.

My student discovered the benefits of using manual focus in a macro context whilst I scoured the ancient oak wood for quick photographic opportunities.

I enjoy capturing details on trees and I saw the bearded face above and sought to photograph it!

The session seemed to pass all too quickly;I always hate to leave this lovely wood, it is such a peaceful place and we made our way back to busy summer visitor laden carpark 🙂

Shaugh Prior the river Plym and longish shutter speeds

My student and I met up at Shaugh Prior on the Plymouth side of Dartmoor for a private lesson working with tripods, shutter speeds and moving water.
The car park was still empty and the summers day cloudy when we started out, days such as these are good for photographing moving water and achieving longer shutter speeds the less avaliable light there is the longer you can expose for.

We managed to get 2 second exposures, without the help of filters in the damp valley. I always love the contrast of mossy rocks and smooth flowing long exposure effect water.

I converted the above image into black and white, water movement always works well in a black and white format and the texture of the bridge is also improved. I never tire of photographing water and rivers especially when teamed with the Westcountry’s mossy rocks.
I find as well, that students are far more absorbed by working with a tripod to compose an image than working handheld ! This is mainly because working with a tripod slows one down so much and is beneficial as far as carefully composing an image that needs no cropping in post processing!

The session went well with the student feeling that he had got to grips with beginning to master shutter speeds and we both got some interesting shots.

I love Shaugh Prior as a location the wild river and huge boulders set in woodland make for a great combination of photographic oportunities !

Misty Branches and lakes; Burrator Teaching Session 7th July 2012

The weather was a bit drizzly when I pulled up to the dam at Burrator reservoir to meet my students yesterday. Having some time to spare I drove in the direction of Sheepstor and pulled the car over by the banks of the lake.

I took my best shots yesterday when the light wasn’t actually that great, proving that you can get good shots in all conditions. I walked to the sandy waters edge and photographer Dartmoor’s tors from a cover of willow branches.

I was using an ISO of 400 and a fairly wide aperture to get these shots.

The huge trees at the reservoir always amaze me, you can see where they have grown over dry stone walled boundaries that were in existence before the reservoir was built in the Victorian era.

I met my student and climbed the hill behind Norsworthy Bridge but by then the diffused light had disappeared and we managed some passable shots of the wonderfully named Cuckoo Rock.

We moved down to the Meavy Brook and used our tripods to get some slow and fast shutter speed shots, the shot below was taken at half a second with an ISO of 100.

Even though Burrator reservoir is a man – made feature, it has lots of photographic interest, situated as it is in stunning Devon scenery.