I had been really looking forward to this workshop with Nick. The workshop planned for the spring – a return to the Elan Valley had to be cancelled and I’d taken myself off to Llanwrtyd Wells on my own instead – but not to do any bog-snorkling. [I’ve just realised I’ve not posted from that break – I’ll get round to doing that in December, politics permitting!] A trip to Pembrokeshire had followed which was blessed with generally brilliant weather and I’d managed to get some reasonably good shots, and now I was off to Dartmoor, somewhere I hadn’t really explored since I went there on a University field trip. I always seemed to be passing-by Dartmoor (and Bodmin Moor) on the way to Cornwall. It was a place I really wanted to get to know, and with autumn colours and meeting-up with fellow photographers ahead – all who had been on previous Nick trips with me – what could go wrong!
The weather of course. I did the journey down in the dry, it was a bit overcast but I’d researched what I could see and had picked-out Lydford Gorge and Brentor as spots that were worth visiting.
The latter proved difficult to get a good shot of – the one with the church of St Michael sitting on top of the tor. I hadn’t done my research well enough and with only limited time I had to make do with the scramble up to the church and these two shots which do however give a feeling of the isolation and bleakness of the location. Quite a graveyard!
Prior to that I’d tried to visit Lydford Gorge. It was closed! The National Trust close the gorge each winter for maintenance. Fair enough, but it was half-term week. Surely a delay by one week would have been sensible! So, despite the large number of families parking and walking down to the one spot that was open – Whitelady Waterfall (below) – there was no cafe and, more importantly, the toilets were closed. Poor show National Trust!
I wasn’t really happy with the shots I took of the waterfall. The one above is the best of a rather poor bunch. It was quite a tight crop into a wider shot. Luckily the Sony A7r III has plenty of pixels to play with, so you’d never guess this was not the shot intended!
So on I went to The Forest Inn at Hexworthy where I met up with the rest of the group. It was nice to renew acquaintances and be amongst friendly photographers again. With the weather on the turn we set off very quickly for the East Dart River nearby. Below is a shot of the river, the broken clapper bridge and some autumn colours …
… and a here’s a close-up of the same with some nice “silky” water and mossy boulders and ferns.