Discovering Dartmoor I - Brentor
Discovering Dartmoor I
My hardest decision today - coast or moor? After some research and much deliberation it had to be moor (the tide was all wrong for the coast). Having only a few hours to spare it needed to be somewhere I could drive to within an hour and not have more than a 20-30 minute walk in. The weather forecast was changeable and I had visions in my head of mean and moody moors, mist and long exposures. Driving out of Plymouth the clouds were forming nicely but by the time I got to Tavistock they had gone, blown away by the gusty wind. Blue skies, not what I had envisioned! Despite this driving out of the small town and onto the moors the anticipation was growing. Living in The Netherlands I get disproportionately excited by hills, even small ones! Driving through the undulating landscape was pleasure itself then in the distance I could see the Tor I was heading for, with it's 13th century church, St Michael de Rupe standing high above the surrounding countryside. There's a handy carpark just off the road as it is a well visited place - many families came to walk the Tor and see the church in the couple of hours I was there. A short walk saw me up the steep incline to the top of the Tor, and oh my, it was blowy up there! Of course the sheltered side of the Tor was no use forthe views I wanted to capture so after scouting around I set up the tripod in the full force of the wind, perilously close to the edge of
the craggy hill but if that's where the best view point is what else can you do? First up was a view from the south with the light coming over my left shoulder and now it was just a case of waiting for some cloud to blow through from the south. Tourist office images with bright blue skies was not what I had come for! A few fluffy clouds came into the composition but I did not get the kind of movement I needed for the picture in my mind's eye and looking over my shoulder I could see there was no more cloud coming into shot. Time to relocate. Walking back round to the north side of the Tor I took some respite from the wind but again, the best viewpoint was on the edge, buffeted by the wind and my biggest technical issue was protecting the camera from the wind to help prevent camera shake. From here however the cloud in the south was fully visible and the sun was now low enough and to further the side so would no longer cause any issues. With the clouds scudding across the sky from west to east the Lee Big Stopper had to come out. Now this is why I had come...
A great location and if only I had enough time to come back. That is the trouble with travelling for short stays, you do not get the time to fully exploit the locations. Dartmoor has so much to offer and I certainly intend to come back to explore and discover more. A good note to end the year on I think. What will 2014 bring I wonder? Happy New Year to everyone, may it be peaceful and fulfilling for each and every one of you.
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Great - that means you'll be back again :-) It's beautiful around here, isn't it?
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