Beech trees on Plasterdown April 2014

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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.

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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.

More information on my photographic workshops can be found at http://www.rachelburchphotography.com

 

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

 

 

 

The Walkham valley on a chilly Sunday morning

I decided to go and out with my camera and photograph the Walkham Valley yesterday, not far from my home.
This valley is home to the Walkham river and was the site of mining for copper in the nineteenth century.
Its a haven for wildlife, livestock, and dog walkers now.
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The light was so nice through the mature beech and hazels and I got a few shots of the backlit woodland.
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The beeches overhanging the river can make for interesting shots so I set the tripod to get a low shot of the river in the early Spring sun. The sun was going in and out a bit by this point. So in the end the best shots I got I feel were some slower shutter speed shots, that I was able to get with a more overcast sky.
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I varied the ISO speed between 100 for the water shots and 400 for the wider hand held tree shots. It’s amazing when the sun goes in how different the settings that you need can be.

I walked back to the car at 11am before the Sunday walkers through some moorland sheep that had gathered in the trees, a surreal site ins some ways I have seen moorland ponies here too the open moor is a short walk away.

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Tors, trees, and windswept photographers.

I was determined to get out with my camera on the brief blustery sunny day here in Devon yesterday and decided to go for Pew Tor a great location with lots of windswept trees to capture.
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The light at this time of the year can be great and the turned bracken and mid distance made a wonderful combination.

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The colour shots of the trees also convert well into black and white and the moody subject matter works well.
I climbed to the top of the tor and got a couple of shots looking down and across to Cornwall.
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I also caught this pennywort growing on sheer rock, proving that even a tiny life form can survive out on the Moor.
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Finding subjects in a dark January

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It was a dark and dank January day when myself and my pupil set out at Shaugh Prior for the teaching session.
Finding subject matter at this time of year can always be difficult but once again the mossy rocks and boulders of such a wild place proved to hold a good few shots.

The heavy gloom and cloud allowed for shutter speeds of up to four or five seconds with no filters.

Merrivale bronze age stone row in December on Dartmoor

I met my student on a bitter morning at the Fourwinds car park near to the stone row on the Western side of Dartmoor.

We set off photographing the lovely dry stone wall near the stone row DSC_2560 bs

 

The beeches in it are always lovely and the winter light set them off a treat.

We walked along to the Boundary marker and got some shots across to Vixen Tor

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Approaching the mine workings a few ponies were posing for us and I coverted my shot into a black and white image

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We walked to the large Menhir and the stone circle and got some shots of the tiny stones

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Then finally we walked to the row and caught the full shadow of the well known triangle stone against the tawny grass.

Dartmoor is so much more interesting in the winter!