As I have made my way to work over the last few days, a spell of icy weather has given us some cold frosty mornings, as the weekend approached, I was hoping that there may be a chance for me to capture the beauty that winter provides all too rarely these days.
As my alarm went off at a leisurely six forty five, I was still somewhat reluctant to remove myself from the warmth of my cosy bed but the forecast was good and I would not be happy to miss out on the chance of some wintry images.
It was clear that just a few minutes in that today was to be one of those fabulous photographic days where there is something at every turn, the early glow of the sun, the dusting of hoar frost coating anything it touches with its icy sprinkles, the sheer joy of seeing the day come to life.
I managed a ten mile hike on today’s walk and offer a selection of today’s offerings, there may well be a second post from this wonderful winter walk.
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.
Day 44, it’s just after 5am and I am back in Salcombe for an early morning stroll before the first day of the summer holiday begins in earnest
My hopes of catching the sunrise were to be thwarted by increasingly overcast skies but the occasional break in the clouds allowed brief opportunities for the light to escape and cast that early glow here and there, I just had to find those places.
The town is quiet, only the sound of squawking herring gulls break the silence, a noise that definitely is not the dawn chorus!
As much as I enjoy capturing the light on the landscape, I am finding more and more that I enjoy finding those close detail shots that any 50mm lens is so good at capturing, the last three shots in this selection were among my favourites of todays outing.
It has been a rather busy week, so my first post for this weekend is my early morning walk from last weekend.
I had not set an alarm for this morning, not having anything planned, it was to be a spontaneous outing, more than likely another riverside walk to begin my day.
It was just after 5AM, a good two hour lie in by normal workday standards, the day was bright with clear skies, with that late spring stillness of the early morning.
Too early to eat breakfast, I fuelled up with a generous mug of tea before heading out, I will look forward to a cooked breakfast on my return.
The river lies still, reflections of riverside residences reflect in the water below, it is not long before the first rays of sun paint the scene in a gentle glow.
I love the early light as it finds its way through trees and foliage, fresh verdant leaves bathing in the early rays, a tree trunk surrounded by its garland of wild flora, perfect subjects for my favoured close up style shots.
Above, a collection of my favourite shots from my brief but enjoyable morning walk, it may be just after eight AM but I feel that I have seen the best of the day….
It’s just after 04:15 as I head out this Saturday morning to capture another seaside sunrise, this time at Dawlish Warren.
As I make my way to the railway station, the dawn chorus has begun already, a male blackbird stands proudly atop a concrete pillar, preaching his avian chorus to anyone who listens, I do, his melodic overture is a pleasure to hear as a new day begins.
My walk to the station is rarely interrupted but for the occasional takeaway car making their last calls to hungry party goers, or taxi cabs ferrying the night club weary back home for a welcome slumber.
In just a few weeks, even the five AM train will not be early enough for those summer seaside sunrises but that is a concern for then, not now.
The train glides out of Exeter St. David’s station on time, I will be at my destination in twenty minutes and with darkness already lifting, I can see a little colour beginning to form in the sky above.
Mine is just the third stop of the train’s journey to Paignton, Dawlish Warren station is just a stone’s throw from here, the local arcades, cafe’s and fairground rides lie dormant for now, in just a few hours, it will be a thriving mini town, as day trippers and tourists from the local camp sites look to entertain family members, young and old.
The beauty of the new day has begun already, bright orange and dark blue skies are all I need to get the camera out for the first shot of the day, a simple composition of nearby benches in silhouette.
It is a fabulous start but I am keen to find a few more shots before the sun begins its rapid ascent, with the tide making its way in, I look to find some reflections in the calm water as a contrast to the rippled patterns in the exposed sand and a couple images from the path above the beach, using the picket fence as foreground interest.
Once the sun appears above the horizon, these beautiful shades will be lost all too soon, all the more reason to just sit and enjoy the rest of this brief show with a well earned cuppa from my generously sized thermos flask.
With mission sunrise achieved, I will make my way along the footpath to Starcross and Cockwood, joining the estuary trail as far as Topsham, where I will catch a ferry and enjoy a well deserved refreshment.
The next set of images are just a handful of those I took along one of my favourite hikes, a good ten miles allowing for my numerous ‘off piste’ ambles along the way in the search for more photos.
As my working week edge closer to Fridays, plans begin to take shape for my weekend photo walks, as I perused the weather forecast, Saturday was looking good for another sunrise.
It’s 4am on Saturday when the alarm sounds, an hour later than my normal work day alarm but I am already awake, supping the first brew of the day and getting ready to head out for my 5am train.
As usual, I arrive at the station with more than enough time to spare, I could never be one of those people that leave appointments or meetings until the very last moment,I have never enjoyed trying to make up time, preferring to ease myself more sedately into my day!
My train will take around 25 minutes to get to today’s destination, Teignmouth, sunrise will be just 15 minutes after my arrival, enough time to pick my spot to watch the new day dawn.
Finding my place on the shoreline, the dawn light show has begun already, skies of blue and orange, reflected into the sea, a truly beautiful start to my morning.
It is not long before the sun appears from below the horizon, its vibrant orange orb adding more fiery hues to the sky.
I make my way further along the sea front, I would like to capture a scene of the pier as the sun rises above, I am not prepared for the scene that unfolds as apparently out of nowhere, a flock of herring gulls are above the pier and appear to surround the sun…..
As much as I enjoy capturing these scenes, I feel that sometimes I miss opportunities to just observe, caught up in the moment as I am with my photography, today I make the time to just sit and watch while enjoying my second cuppa of the day from my flask… and then a third.
From here, I walk towards Teignmouth’s ‘back beach’, admiring the golden glow cast on the scene before me, where I meet Claire, a Teignmouth local who takes time every day to clear the beach of litter, in rain, wind or shine.
I admire the work and dedication of people such as Claire and others, who strive on a daily basis to clear up the debris of the idle, when did some lose the notion that we should leave a place how we would wish to find it?
By the time I have finished my beach side amble, it is just after 8am, I head back to the station for the next train and begin to look forward to the full English I promised myself a few hours before.
With Easter just over the horizon, this may well be the last of my three day weekends until late September, so I will be spending this weekend in Salcombe , first and foremost visiting family and hopefully a sunrise photo shoot on Saturday morning.
It’s 5am and day 22 of my 50mm challenge, sunrise is at just after six thirty, so I have a good hour to walk to a favourite place in Salcombe, the National trust footpath at Snape’s point, where I hope to catch the early light as it reflects on the town I once called home.
Too early for a full breakfast, I drink my first brew of the day and eat a slice of toast before heading into the last few minutes of night time, as I walk briskly towards my destination.
As the darkness fades, I have clear skies above, with just a hint of orange on the horizon, a promising portent for the day to come.
The early chill has been negated by my brisk pace but I will feel it more once I stop to wait for sunrise, as my favoured spot for today is at the top of a hill overlooking the estuary and various creeks.
It would appear that I have times my arrival to perfection, barely ten minutes later and there is a beautiful orange glow painting the sky, this is why I get out early on my days off, the sheer pleasure of watching a new day dawn will never fail to leave me inspired.
It comes to mind that this is the first time that I have come to this location for a sunrise shoot, this has always been a walk I have done later in the day, it is safe to say that I will definitely make the effort to return for another early start later in the year.
After a slow mooch back for a welcome bacon butty and the mandatory cuppa, I make my way back into town for a few more photos, this time capturing the town with a few more people around, especially on the estuary where I watch the local sailing yachts lining up for their next race, while taking a few photos of course.
Today’s blog will be day 21 in terms of my 50mm project and a milestone for the blog as a whole, as this is my 200th entry!
Before I begin my thoughts on yesterdays hike, I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read my musings and follow my amblings around the Devon landscape, your kind comments and support is very much appreciated.
At last the clocks have gone forward, one of the first signs that we can begin to look forward to longer and warmer days but this morning at just after 4am, winter is beginning to outstay its welcome with temperatures just above zero.
Today’s hike will start with a 6am train to Starcross, then walking the ten or so miles back along the estuary trail back to Exeter, with the hope of a sunrise along the way at around 7am.
As the train pulls away from the station, the darkness begins to fade, and promising patches of light begin to show through the clouds, my optimism levels are raised from perhaps to probable in the search for some early sun.
Arriving at Starcross just ten minutes later, there is still another forty or so minutes before sunrise but there are signs already of some colour in the skies above.
The station platform at Starcross overlooks the estuary, I remain here for a few minutes after the train has departed, this is a perfect place for my first shot of the day.
My patience is rewarded after barely 15 minutes, the fiery hues in the sky, reflect on the water, this is why I love early mornings, the pleasure of watching a new day dawn.
The cold is now biting at my hands, it’s time to begin the walk back, can the day get any better?
It would appear that it can, as the morning breaks into one of those days of beautiful early spring light, where the suns rays paint the landscape with a golden hue, what more could I ask for?
I finally join the estuary trail, a footpath that has the estuary to my right and rolling fields and the railway to my left, the only traffic here are the occasional train and pleasure boats.
I appear to be the only walker on the upper path today, I do however chat with a local angler who has just caught a decent sized flounder which he puts back, as he is looking for some early bass, he is happy for me to take a couple of photos, which I will send to him later in the day.
I have done my best to describe in words the mood of this beautiful spring day, only the images will give a true reflection, so enough already from me…….
After a very enjoyable outing to Totnes, capturing the essence of a busy market town, my Saturday morning will be quite the opposite, as I make my first early morning outing of the year.
With sunrise at just after 6am, I set out just after 5am, heading towards the quayside and the Canal footpath along the River Exe, looking forward to capturing whatever this new day may bring.
As I reach the quayside, the skies above are cloudless but bright, there will be no dramatic clouds to reflect the sun’s early light but there are some beautiful reflections in the mirror like still waters.
At just after six, the sun makes its welcome presence known as it paints the nearby buildings in a subtle golden light, the scene is jigsaw puzzle picture perfect, what a great start to my Saturday morning.
I manage one image of the sun as it rises between the trees, before all too soon those yellow hues fade away.
Happy with the shots I have, I head back along the opposite path, where the local rowers carve through the water like a knife through butter and runners and cyclists take their morning exercise, I admire their dedication as I think about that bacon sandwich I promised myself when I got back home.