Another Teignmouth sunrise

As I prepare for my impending house move, the blog posts may have slowed a little as I spend my evenings after work on the onerous task of packing boxes, allowing me the leeway for a few hours shutter therapy at weekends.

My last outing to Teignmouth was on the first train of the day at just after 5am, back in May or June, where the sunrise was at just after five thirty AM, with the first week of autumn already history, I catch the six fifty five from St. David’s for a seven AM sunrise.

With about thirty minutes before the sun’s daily ascent, the sky already has tinges of orange and blue and there is a noticable chill in the air, as the temperature sits at two degrees celcius.

While I was tempted to find a different viewpoint to watch the day break, the contrasts of deep orange against the pier seemed too good to pass up, out came the camera and the obligitory flask of tea as I watched the scene unfold.

It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly the sun rises from it’s inital appearance from the horizon, the blues and oranges from a few moments ago dissolve away in the blink of an eye, with just a pastel glow of yellowy orange paint the surroundings in an attractive glow.

With the sunrise part of today’s shoot done, I head for a local cafe for a cuppa and a fry up, my treat for my an early start, before moving on to explore Shaldon, just on the other side of the estuary.

One frame – Holding steady


When I first acquired the Canon S95 camera as part of my ‘older camera’ theme, I never thought that it would be the first camera that went into my bag on my weekend outings, neither did I think for one moment that It would find its way into my everyday rucksack on my commute to and from work, for those ‘just in case scenarios’ that always seem to happen when you never have a camera with you.

Yes, I have a mobile phone but this dinosaur likes the right tool for the job, to me using a mobile phone for photography is like using a screwdriver for tightening a nut!

Saturday’s trip finds me at Budleigh Salterton, a seaside town in East Devon, where finally we may just see a little welcome rain, after what has been a fabulous summer.

A strong breeze is giving an autumnal edge to the temperature today, as I watch the grey skies beginning to darken with more menacing clouds, perfect for some monochrome edits later in the day.

Just as I am taking a minimalist shot of the clouds rolling in, a pair of herring gulls enter the frame, courtesy of a particularly strong gust of wind as they quickly regain control and hold a steady height in the wind.

Would I have had this shot with my bigger camera? perhaps, but the smaller camera is always in my hand as it has so little weight and the fact that I enjoy using it so much.

50 days of 50mm #43

When I began this ‘ 50 day’ project back in January, fifty days sounded easy but of course my working week between those days I can get out taking photos meant it was always going to take me well into the months of summer to complete the challenge.

Thankfully, this year has seen the return of some of my most looked forward to events, the vintage car rallies and steam fairs, as well as my regular trips to Dartmoor and the local coastal paths and beaches, seeing all these familiar venues with a single focal length has been a fascinating experience and a great learning curve in how to shoot with what I have in my now minimalist camera bag.

With this last weekend set to see some of the hottest weather of the summer so far, my plan was to get out around 6am and meander around one of the local public gardens and riverside before the heat set in, armed with my favourite vintage fifty, the Pentacon 1.8.

Even at this early hour, there was already a warmth in the air, the subtle light of the sunrise was brief, this was to be a long and beautiful summer day.


Today’s images were a mixed bag, the beauty of the summer flora and the abstract of glass shards to the light cast on the railway bridge over the river Exe, the graffiti reflecting in the river below.

I really do enjoy these shorter local walks as much as my all day trips, there is always something to be found, even if it is on our doorstep.

One frame – Shell, sand and sea.

While most of my current blog posts are centering around my 50mm for fifty days project, I will continue to pick out the odd single frame and give a little of the back story behind the shot.

I think it is fair to say that I have undergone a metaphorical ‘reset’ in my photographic journey in the last few months, in as much as that I have made a conscious decision to carry less gear on my photo shoots, partly due to my ongoing project but mainly that I prefer to carry a lighter camera bag.

My desire to keep up with the latest and best tech has been replaced by the pleasure of rediscovering what I already have, namely a handful of 50mm vintage lenses that add a little variety to the native Canon 50mm.

Do not get me wrong, the canon lens is a cracking lens but these vintage lenses have brought out my inner luddite, there is something I like about changing the lens aperture via the lens, rather than a camera dial, and manual focus with a physical limit, not the fly by wire focusing of the modern lens.

I have found myself looking for simple, minimalist compositions, textures or colours, or simply looking more closely at the detail and beauty in something as simple as a leaf or flower.

One such example is my featured image, the single shell becoming slowly embedded into the sand, the faint patterns made by the waves as they gently caressed the shore.

The shell scene on its own worked to a degree but to my mind needed a little something else.
Nature provided that something else, in the form of a wave that I patiently awaited to reach the top of the frame.

It took about six or seven attempts to get a shot I liked but what struck me more, was just how engrossed I had become in capturing this one composition and how much I had enjoyed the process.

In keeping with the simplicity of the composition, the edit was just as straightforward, nothing more than a frame and a square crop was used.

For anyone interested in the lens I used, a Pentacon 50mm 1.8, which seems to be my ‘go to’ lens of the moment, however, I do have a Zeiss ‘Jenna’ 50mm 2.8 waiting in the wings for it’s day out.


Shorter days and Xmas markets

With the hours of daylight lasting only for the duration of the blink of an eyelid, it is only a matter of time before the inevitable festive countdown begins, as Christmas decorations adorn our towns and cities.

Under normal circumstances, I would say that the countdown starts far too early but with the omnipresent spectre of Covid, the vibrant colours and feelgood factor are a pleasant distraction.

Before anyone hurls the ‘bah humbug!’ tag in my general direction, I do look forward to the local Christmas market, a perfect place to not only indulge in my pursuit of photography but also an opportunity to take in the wonderful aromas from the myriad of food stalls selling their wares over the next few weeks.

My sense of smell is tantalized from all directions, the subtle spiced aromas of a Thai food stall one minute, that fried onion and home made burger the next, with the essence of winter spices from the mulled wine counter just around the corner.

As I make my way around, one or two of the stall holders allow me to take their photos before the after work crowds arrive, up to a couple of years ago, this would have been a swift candid photo but more and more I am enjoying the engagement with those who so generously indulge my requests.

I am sure I will be making one or two more visits to the Xmas markets over the coming weeks but for now I will leave a selection of my favourite images.

Ambling a little further



A few days away exploring Gloucester and the Cotswold’s gave an opportunity to explore a site that I have had bookmarked for a number of years but thought I would never see for myself.

Anyone that has read my blog for long enough, will know my love of canals, boats and pretty much anything with a nautical theme, so after listening to a radio broadcast about the ‘Purton hulks’, my interest was piqued.

Purton is situated on the southern bank of the River Severn, about half a mile from the port of Sharpness.

A river bank collapse in 1909 lead to concerns that the canal may be breached, so a collection of old steel barges, Severn trows and concrete barges were deliberately run aground to reinforce the banks.
These hulks were then deliberately holed, so as the sediment from the river may weight them down further into position.

The beaching of this varied collection of boats continued up until 1965, where the remains are still visible.

The weathering of the remains are perfect for my appetite of weathered wood and rust, the autumn sunshine and cloudy conditions adding a little more drama to the scene.

Perhaps some time in the future, I could return to explore a little more this fascinating piece of maritime history.

Low tide at Exmouth




For last week’s three day weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend two of them out and about with the camera, with Dartmoor on Friday and a local trip to Exmouth on Sunday.

My expeditions to Dartmoor may be a more recent bookmark in my photography timeline but my love of the coast and seaside towns is etched into my DNA, growing up as I did in a small seaside town in South Devon.

Of course, in my formative years, I did not have a camera but my innate curiosity always drew me to the well weathered maritime paraphernalia of the fishing quays and the treasure trove of flotsam that would wash up on the beaches after a storm, the very things that I look to capture with my camera.

With the summer holidays now a fading memory, the local beaches will be a little quieter until half term, I have never been a ‘crowds’ person so I am happy to wait my turn to visit on my camera days out.

I have decided to travel light, it’s the x100v and the Ricoh Gr3 that have their place in my bag, however, it is the ‘V’ that will get most use today, as I have been experimenting with more ‘home brew’ recipes using the various film simulations built into Fuji cameras.

I have really enjoyed experimenting with these simulations, by doing so, I have learned the attributes of each and have started getting some pleasing JPEG’s out of camera, using Astia for my woodland walks with a warmer white balance to add vibrancy, while Classic chrome with a more muted colour setting is ideal for those moody days on the moor.

While I shoot today, I will be fine tuning a recipe based on the classic neg simulation that so many Fuji shooters love, another more muted based on the videocentric Eterna.

As the day seems to alternate between sunshine and overcast conditions, it will be a good test of how both act in different light, with an aim to using as many of the Jpeg images as possible for my final image.




Over the last few months I have been shooting this way more and more, simply because I love the colours that come from the Fuji camera and I am spending less time trying to replicate them via a computer screen and a plethora of sliders.

For the record, each of the gallery shots were from the Jpeg, with nothing more than a crop or a tweak in exposure settings.

A Welsh excursion

My first time in Wales was back in 2005, at that time, I had just dipped my toe in the waters of the digital photography world, my camera of choice was a Konica Minolta Dynax 5d, if I remember correctly it boasted an 6mp sensor, which in fairness was more than adequate for my needs and knowledge of photography at that time.

It had always been on my wish list to return, finally doing so in the last week of June.

With holidays having been a distant hope for too long, I was determined to make the most of the time I had there, getting a few early morning walks under my belt, while appreciating the time away.

The mornings started cool, ideal for walking, perfect for shots of low cloud around the mountains, there were also some pretty dramatic skies as the sun did its best to break through the clouds.

Just two miles away, Bala Lake was a certain destination for my bucket list, I made it on my final day, arriving at LLangower just after 7am, I had an entire lake to myself!

No words can amply describe the breathtaking beauty of Wales, but a pick of my favourite images may just give an idea of why I will be keen to return.


Foggintor revisited

It has been over nine months since my last visit to Dartmoor, so to say that I was looking forward to this visit is something of an understatement.

Foggintor has long been a favourite destination for my photo walks, the ruins of the quarrymen’s houses and the quarry itself are perfect photography fodder, especially on those rain laden cloudy days such as today.

It’s late May but a cold wind prevails, temperatures are just a little above 7 degrees, a little unseasonal perhaps but after a nine month absence, I do not care, it’s good to be back once more.

Today’s walk will take in Foggintor quarry, Kings tor and Swell tor, a route of about 6 miles, this is not allowing for my inevitable deviations to take pictures of remote gnarly trees, or anything else that may catch the eye.

At it’s peak, in the mid 1800’s the quarry employed over 300 people, the granite from this quarry was used in the making of Nelson’s column and London bridge.

As I amble my way at a leisurely pace, I can only imagine the brutal nature of the work here, more so, given the volatile nature of the weather here on the moor.

A good 2 weeks of rain are evident here, rainwater drains from the higher ground onto the footpath making it part path, part stream, not a complaint, just one more thing I love about this inspiring landscape.

A third of the way into today’s foray and the sky begins to show signs of light, as dappled patches of sunshine escape through the thinning cloud, perhaps I may even see some sunshine today.

Through the gusts of wind, the only sound to be heard are my own footsteps and the tell tale trill of the many skylarks dipping and soaring and for the first time this year, a cuckoo, heard but rarely seen.

I had honestly thought that my chance for capturing bluebells on the moor this year had well and truly gone but as I look at the path below, three adjacent fields are a sea of blue, such a contrast in this landscape of greens and browns.

Finding this riot of blue was one thing, finding that there is public access is a bonus, surely I must get a few images here?

As the last of the heavy rain clouds are blown across the horizon, blue skies emerge from under their drab grey cloak, sunlight bathes the distant landscape in its glow, just for a few fleeting seconds.

The end of today’s walk is near, approaching the car park that on arrival was empty, it is now full with a queue of four more looking to turn in and look for spaces that aren’t there and exit once more.

With a good few miles completed, I feel that I have had the best of the day, I am hoping my next visit will be a lot sooner than my last.



A sunny Sunday

As we hit the middle of March, there are welcome signs of spring, with the hours of daylight increasing slowly but surely, day by day.

Spring is a time of change, as we shed the siege mentality of those often wet and windy days that keep us indoors and look to spend more time enjoying the first prolonged warm days outside.

With Saturday offering nothing better than frequent rain showers, I looked to make Sunday morning my day of lockdown exercise along the river path, so just after five thirty am, I head out before the city wakes from its slumber.

How nice at this time of day to see the sky beginning to lighten already, instead of the black velvet shroud of darkness, as I reach the quayside, pink clouds of candy floss sail along blown by the chilly wind.

Pink skies by the quayside

For now, I have the quay to myself, in a few hours it will be the destination for those looking for a warming takeaway drink after their morning constitutional, I will probably be back home by then, a reminder that I practiced social distancing before it became a ‘thing’.

A mile or so along the riverside path, the morning sun begins its ascent into the dawn sky, its light painting clouds with bright, warm hues, one of the reasons I love watching the new day come alive.

Days such as these, bring the senses alive, the feeling of familiarity of this path during lockdown dissipates into appreciation of the place I am fortunate to call home.

Reaching the end of this stretch of the path, I could cross the busy main road at Countess wear and join it again to walk towards the Exe estuary, this idea is trumped by the knowledge I have promised myself a bacon and egg roll when I get home and with the hunger pangs making themselves known, I begin the walk back along the opposite path.

Heading back towards the quayside, I have walked a healthy six and a half miles, and with the sun radiating some rather pleasant light, I grab a few more shots before the home straight.