Season of bridges and mellow moorland…..Postbridge teaching shoot 24th September

I met my students in Postbridge car park, now quieter after the madding crowds of summer have left. We managed to get a few photos of the old clapper bridge without people on it which is always a bonus.



Misty conditions at the start of the shoot left us with ISOs of 200- 400 and wider apertures. The colours of Autumn were coming through though and helped bring some strength to the muted palette of the Moor.

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We took the footpath accessible over the newer bridge in Postbridge which leads around an array of dry stone walls, roots and at this time of year. Lichen and berries.

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The sun emerged from behind the mist and allowed some stronger shots of berries against a blue sky.

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As we took our last shots kneeling in the willows by the Dart river dragonflies buzzed around the turning beech leaves. Summer moved into Autumn, with graceful abandon.

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Summer rivers, rocks in woodland and sunken lanes.

Summer it would seem has come to Devon…we are forecast seven days of warm weather…..this is the time of year I most crave in winter. And yet, I am always waiting for the wheel to turn again, as it must.

A couple of weeks ago I went back to a drinking well, Middlemoor and a nearby sunken track. I dutifully took my tripod and captured the lane and well one overcast afternoon.

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I think maybe these are the best shots I have taken of this lane and well…proving that an overcast day can be fruitful..

I held a photographic teaching session at Shaugh Prior, on the edge of Dartmoor on Monday, the day was sunny and warm and the bracken was growing up in the mixed woodland.


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A patch of white stonecrop on a rock proved a good subject matter to teach depth of field and apertures and the river Plym proved useful for demonstrating longer shutter speeds.


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The old mine buildings and the outcrop of rocks are also interesting subject matter they remind me of sets from The Hobbit or other such Tolkeinesque films…..

I look forward to a long week of good weather (we hope) but at the same time I will be waiting for the wheel to turn, the storm to break the weather…..:-)

Sunsets, woods and a cool Spring.

I am combining several blogs in one here as I have not written one for a while.

Last week  I went up to Cox Tor on the western edge of Dartmoor to capture the sunset, it was freezing and I admit I got these shots from the car !

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Luckily, it was worth it as I watched the sun go down over the distant Bodmin Moor.

I was up at Cox Tor this Monday for  another freezing shoot, a lesson this time me and my student climbed the summit of Cox Tor in the biting wind. The light was overcast and not promising, but we managed to get some passable shot of interesting hawthorn trees.


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The best find for me was this wonderful moorland oak unusual to find one out on the open moor like this.




The third and final shoot for this blog was this morning’s teaching session at Grenofen woods, always a favourite spot for me and full of interesting material for photography.

My student and I found a wonderful natural cave and which may well have been part of the mine workings.



Another good find was a log covered in moss and lichen, sometimes the simplest things make good subject matter.


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


Sheepstor a holy well and a waterfall Dartmoor February 2013

Yesterday was the first time in a long while that I have managed to do a shoot involving more than one location, the winter sunshine tempted me out with my camera bag and tripod. It was very windy but I was weighed down by my photographic equipment. I drove to the village of Sheepstor on the south west slopes of Dartmoor I had originally planned just to explore the church more and the holy well but there was no parking in the village so I drove up to the massive tor itself and decided to walk up to it and get some images.




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The huge tor shielded me from the excesses of the wind, as I headed back to the car. I managed to park at the side of the narrow lane and jumped out to photograph the beautiful well and church in the village.



I then drove back past where I knew there was a lovely waterfall that the river Meavy makes when it tumbles down a steep slope in the Burrator reservoir woods. So I headed into the woods with my tripod and back pack.






This waterfall is always difficult to capture but I scrambled over the mossy rocks dutifully. As always the best shots were the unexpected ones I captured of the tors or rocks in the woods on the way back.
When I got home and looked at the images I was pleased to see that I has indeed got a few that were usable !