Blossom, ancient cloisters and slate angels in Tavistock Devon

I decided to walk out my forthcoming Tavistock Photography walk this morning in the cold temperatures. The light was challenging shall we say but I did manage to get a few shot of interest.

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I walked from the Weir to St Johns well, an ancient well tucked away in a corner of the meadows, the main park in Tavistock.

I also found the first Spring leaves, wild garlic and a Hawthorn coming into bud. So lovely to see the green again.

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I converted this image of St Johns well into black and white and it seemed to work. I walked over the bridge that crossed the Tavy and walked into the main bit of the park where I found a cherry tree flowering in the cold and ducks and pigeons vying for food!

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I decided to walk back up the Plymouth road towards St Eustatice church, the large C of E church in the centre of town, it has the remains of the 13th century abbey in its churchyard and some great, unusual headstones.

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gothic gravestone

 

Having taken the headstones I was ready for my lunch and surprisingly managed to get some decent shots !

 

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Falcons owls, the Tamar Valley and eagle owls

I decided to take my camera along to my Falconry lesson on Wednesday, (http://www.westcountryfalconry.com/index.htm)

a good idea as it turned out as I managed to get some lovely shots of the birds and the landscape on the walk we took.

The falcons the handler had were two Harrier Hawks one youngster and one aged, 26!

DSC_3421 The harrier hawk overlooks the Tamar Valley

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We set off walking and I go some quick shots of the lovely Tamar Valley on the way. It was a nice day so an ISO of 200 was used for the landscape shots, in the open. I increased the ISO to 400 for some of the woodland shots later in the walk.

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I was handed the gauntlet , as it were and the hawk flew down to get the piece of meat I held in my hand.

The bird seemed light and I enjoyed seeing such a lovely animal so close up.

 

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We walked through the new Tamar trails and came across some interesting mine working including this bridge. (Above)

I enjoyed photographing the birds in the trees, it was lovely to see them flying loose around and about.

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At the end of  the session  another of the group kindly took a shot of me with this European Eagle Owl much to my delight!

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Spring sun, headstones, ponies flowers and country lanes

Inspired by the hazy sunshine I headed out with my camera on Monday to capture some of it’s ambience. At first I tried up on the Moor but the light really was too hazy so I drove back down the hill to Sampford Spiney and walked around the picturesque churchyard and lanes there.

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Sheep in the churchyard Crocuses

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This lovely place really did look lovely with livestock, sheep and ponies left to eat down the grass presumably to make way for the Spring flowers. The ponies did look odd amongst the headstones but they seemed to fit in well enough !

 

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I walked out of the churchyard to the back of the village and photographed the old cross behind the ex charity school building. The Sampford Spiney alpacas were grazing in the field another incongruous site but pretty all the same.

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In terms of photographic technique I hand held the camera all around and shot with a variety of f stops , 5.6 – f11 and an ISO of 200.  The soft light of the sun was more effective in executing closer work than sweeping landscapes out on the open Moor.

And sometimes a simple one track Devon lane can be the most effective composition ! Pony and Victorian headstone Sam