Not Today

Lets all get in the car, go somewhere nice and run around whilst Dad takes some pictures. Plan, planned, Brilliant. Bonus it isn’t rainy, zero visibility, low cloud, mizzle, torrential rain, or snowing.

Dartmoor is an excellent place to be if you want to make art of any kind. It has a wealth of expansive views, moody exposed hostile landscapes, craggy outcrops we call Tors, boulder fields known as clitter, and beautiful ancient stunted oak forests. Valleys and gorges rub shoulders with classic hedge rowed farmland, and scattered everywhere are stone rows and stone circles nestled near to the remains of round houses and villages.

Then there are the modern villages, themselves a remainder of the times Dartmoor was worked for its ore and stone, and all the industrial scars that was left on the land because of it. The military also leaves its mark upon this place, with its infrastructure and buildings dotted around within the firing ranges.

So pretty much grab a camera, point it at anything, click, proper job, go home post on social media, feet up.


But Not This Night – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO 200, 1/50sec at f/8

Only it doesn’t go like that, the clouds in this are pretty cool, the colours are great but the composition is dire. It is beyond bad, official classification – snapshot. Did I work my way through all the angles – yes. . . . well . . . no I just, pfffffffft. . .  .


But Not This Night 2 – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO 200, 1/640 sec at f/4.5

Balls, I really wasn’t on it, my muse the lazy sod has sacked off and is sat on the sofa stuffing chocolate into her mouth which she’s going to be in full remorse mode about later. The Midges were also biting something fierce too.


Final Rays – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO200, 1/50sec at f/5.3

Meh, the only jumping up and down I’m doing about now was to get the midges out the back of my neck, I retired downhill toward the reservoir and my children noisily playing ‘ninjas’ which was kind of funny as they tried creeping up on me whilst making more noise than a herd of cattle that had been fed acid at a warehouse party.


Blue Silhouette – Nikon D7000 – ISO 200, 1/20 sec at f/5.3

Again a huge dose of ‘so what’ the image isn’t OMG AMAZING!!!!!!! I look at it and feel vacant – I have no connection to it, I have no love for it and feel no joy in its creation, and that is the problem, I felt no joy about what I was doing.

Time for one last throw of the dice, It is summer ergo the water is low in the reservoir. This means there is a small pebble ‘beach’ on which to stand and get a low angle shot not normally possible.


Low Water – Nikon D7000 16-85mm, ISO 100, 0.4 sec at f/3.8

Nope, and goodnight, we go back to the car pausing only for me to have kittens when the boys want to ‘see over’ the dam wall, suitably educated in a strong tone, they wisely decide it’s not a good idea. I lean the camera out over the edge and take a very shaky picture so they can see the ‘drop’.

And so fast forward to now, no last magical shot to produce, no hidden gem amongst the many images I’d taken. A total bust. I have taken pictures in the Meldon area that are stunning, and the landscape there is amazing, I can imagine that the valley before the dam went in was dramatic and an incredible route to the moor beyond.

So that’s it, no pithy sign off, just an honest account of going out to take picture, and not getting one.


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