A January Dartmoor outing

January, normally the month of grey skies, cold winds and more than its share of rain, yet occasionally, we are blessed with the odd day where the weather defies the forecast and we see a prelude to the advent of spring.

After a once monthly pilgrimage to a favourite breakfast haunt, appetites are satiated with a delicious farmhouse style breakfast, now energised for the day ahead, the second trip of my one camera, one lens project.
Today will be a test of my resolve, in the past I have always arrived on Dartmoor with a wide angled lens in my armoury to capture what the landscape has to offer.

Heading past the Haytor vale, the light was typical of a slightly overcast January day, in the distance, sun rays broke free of their cloudy shackles to cast their fingers of light to the ground below, just one of the joys of winter photography.

Ideas of capturing images of Hound Tor, were scuppered by a rather full car park, this one can be saved for a mid week day in the coming months.
A new destination was decided upon, one that I had still to tick off from my photographic bucket list, Windy Post.

Windypost Cross, also known as Beckamoor Cross, is situated between the Grimstone and Sortridge leats and is one of the wayside crosses along the “Abbots way” connecting Buckfast with with Tavistock and Buckland abbeys.

Windypost Cross

Finding subject material on Dartmoor is never a problem, so many wind shaped trees surrounded by granite, rugged majestic tors, and a plethora of colours and textures, the perfect materials for the photographic canvas.

In terms of the constraints imposed by the single focal length, I have yet to experience any, if anything, knowing I have to compose with what I have, is actually making me think of shooting in a more creative way, I am thinking in a more deliberate way, taking less shots than if I had other gear, yet using most of what I have taken.

A few of my favourite shots taken from todays outing, the simplicity of a gnarled tree, the drama of a brooding sky and the beautiful ruggedness of a place I will never cease to enjoy.

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