Sunday involved a nice walk across some of Dartmoor along a route that started in Belstone. It was really nice to see some friends again that I have not seen for ages, far too long!
Dartmoor is such a great place to visit, with a lot of history. It’s a place that I would like to come back to much more often (particularly as it is only about 2hrs drive away). The scenery was stunning, felt remote (from a UK perspective!) and presented with some nice photo opportunities. It’s definitely somewhere that has a lot of potential, as well as just so much character (including in the pubs!)
I am not sure what the building is in the bottom picture or why it is in the middle of nowhere. It was on the military firing range, so naturally the most like guess is that it had some kind of army purpose!
Earlier in the week I went up to Grovely woods, taking my 2 year-old son there for a walk. I grabbed a quick shot whilst I was up there, but wanted to return again to the woods. This evening, I went back to the patch of woods that I was at earlier in the week and got this image. Again, time was not on my side (a common thing with three young children aged 6 and under)!
First image from the 5×4 camera. This was the shot that I thought I had messed up, but it turned out OK. Not great compositionally. However, this is the strange mask that I returned to photograph a week later and was gone…
Sometimes it’s just nice to do some landscape photography. Usually nowadays, I like to photograph what people are up to – usually on the streets. However, sometimes I like to step back and just enjoy nature’s light shows as they appear.
One of the things that I used to do a lot, and would like to do again, is long distance treks. I love putting on a backpack and walking long distance trails. Over 20 years of walking I have managed to hone my pack down (including an excellent 1kg Terra Nova Laser tent) to about 8kg, excluding camera kit (I am happy to post up my kit list if people are interested). I have always taken an SLR (film and more recently digital) on treks, as I have never been able to get along with the limitations of compact cameras.
I spent a good 6 years climbing all over the dolomites as part of my treks. Northern Italy is a place that I know quite well,and love, due to the stunning mountains there. I should perhaps put the photos of the treks together into some sort of project.
One of the things I like about trekking is obviously the stunning scenery. Spending a few weeks (or months on another occasion) in the mountains is quite an experience. Not only did I get super fit, but I also found that my view of life became much more simpler and clearer.
With limited access to the internet and other sources of technology, I found that things became easier. Each day was simply about setting a goal of getting from A to B, then doing it. Until my first daughter arrived 5 years ago, I only really used a camera for holiday snaps. I used to do wedding and some advertising photography some years before, with my main personal interest at the time being seascape work (living in Cornwall it was hard not to!). However, when I went off to study, I pretty much dropped photography for a good 10 years. As is typical with most people, having kids makes you get your camera back out!
I don’t tend to do landscape work that much at the moment. I have been shooting a project in Wiltshire called ‘Landlines‘ (it’s a poor edit, the previous one was better) on and off for the last few years, but it’s very slow going. I will probably reshoot the project over the next few years as I like the idea, but not the images. The main reason I don’t do much landscape work is that much of the stuff I see online is not very inspiring. I went to a local exhibition recently, and whilst the landscape work was pretty, I didn’t find it stood out from the multitude of shots that I have seen before. The main reason being that if I have seen Durdle Door once, I have seen it a thousand times, so why do I need to see it again with a slightly bluer sky or something?
The problem I find with landscape work is that people are always trying to create the iconic image – when I prefer nowadays to work with a series of images to create a narrative. When you have seen so many so-called iconic images, you get a bit numb to them. So, I think this year, particularly with the arrival of the large format camera (still need to get the lenses, etc…), I think I will revisit the great outdoors to do some landscape work – particularly as it seems a good topic for learning how to use a large format camera.
Any way, here are a couple of pretty pictures from my treks to round the post off with…
When I was in town today I noticed near to the Arts Centre that some trees had flowers on them. I took this shot to capture the moment. It’s nice to think that already there are some signs of Spring in the air. Although, it was a bitter -5c first thing this morning when I was first outside!