Friday, October 31, 2014

Dordogne Day 2 - Misty trees & imposing chateaux

It was a chilly start to the day, the nights in fact had been particularly cold, I was having to use 3 blankets just to be warm enough to get some sleep. But thanks to the balmy days and cool nights, the early mornings offered plenty of mist.

We headed over to same woodland we’d been the day before to get some shots of trees swaddled in the creamy haze, while the sun warmed their shining boughs. The white trunks stood in lines like a picket fence, supporting a canopy of glittering leaves alight with the morning glow. It made for a beautiful sight, but it wasn’t long before the sun had driven the majority of the fog away, so we packed up and drove to St Cyprien for the obligatory coffee, and picked up a baguette for lunch.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dodogne Day 1 - Villages both Medieval & troglodyte

We headed out first thing, to the nearest town of Le Bugue, to get ourselves some breakfast; a pain au chocolat and a coffee were definitely on the cards. After that it was a quick trip to the Supermarché to stock up on essentials, plus of course some tea towels so we could remove the much maligned calcer, and a couple of bottles of the local vino.

This eye catching group of trees caught our attention.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dordogne - Arrival

Decided to hop over the pond, well, the puddle, to France, to spend a few carefree days in the beautiful surrounds of the Dordogne. I was in the company of my occasional travelling companion, Sarah, who was scouting suitable spots for an upcoming photography workshop in the area, and invited me to tag along.

The journey over was possibly one of the easiest in the history of travel. Exiting the leafy kingdom of Oxfordshire and motoring along the M40 and M25 without a single hold up had left us suitably jubilant, and not a little surprised. Then, being able to stretch out on the plane, as it was only half full, was nothing short of astonishing. And to top it all off, ours was the only plane at Bergerac airport, which is not much more than a large corrugated shed, so passport control, namely a smiling official in a small plywood booth, was an absolute breeze.

A few snaps from the trip as a bit of a taster. Here my esteemed colleague wanders blithely through my shot.

Dorset Day 2 - Peveril point & Lullworth Cove

The forecast for early morning had not been great, unlike the day before, which had promised some dawn sunshine, and which had spectacularly failed to deliver. So I wasn’t holding out a great deal of hope for a decent start to the day.

With that in mind I hadn’t planned to go far, just down to Peveril Point again, in case something did happen. And happen it did, it turned out to be a real beauty of a morning, with the sun appearing from behind a bank of cloud, and casting its warm radiance over the ocean before me, and Swanage seafront to my rear.

The weather was on my side.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dorset Day 1 (Part 2) - Sandy shenanigans & Kimmeridge clouds

Whilst at Studland Beach got it into my head to do a variation of that classic footprints in the sand shot, so often seen in holiday brochures and suchlike, but instead of bare feet leaving a tempting trail, it was my size 12 boots stomping through golden shoreline.

The tide was on its way out, meaning I had a nice stretch of smooth sand to play with, so I created some inexpertly made footprints heading into the water, which was a lot harder than I thought it would be. With the final effect being rather less vacation paradise, and rather more goodbye cruel world.

It wasn't entirely what I had in mind when I originally thought of it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dorset Day 1 (Part 1) - Peveril Point & sturdy masts

Woke up to fog, so like any right thinking person, I figured it was time to give Corfe Castle a go, in the hope that the fog wouldn’t be too thick, and a lovely bit of morning sun would light up the delicate mist as it twirled and wafted around the impressive hill top ruins, ruffling the battlements and wafting about the crenelations.

So as I heaved myself up East Hill, to get a view down and across to the castle remnants, I hoped against hope that it wouldn’t be as discouraging as the previous visit. It was as discouraging as the previous visit. For the second time in as many hard won ascensions, I couldn’t even see the castle, let alone admire its ruffled battlements.

So yet again, I hung around for a while, in the vain ambition that Mother Nature might take pity on my situation, and spoil me with a view, but as usual, my wishes were comprehensively ignored, and I was left desolate and crestfallen. Once I realised that was the way it was going to be, I strode obstinately back down the hill and returned to the car, in a righteous cloud of huffy indignation.

I didn't bother to take a picture, so here's one from the last time I was there to give an idea what it was like. 
In fact this is exactly what it was like. It couldn't be more spot on if it tried. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Exmoor Day 4 - Morning mist on the Moors

Up nice and early in the hope that I might get a sunrise, but once there was enough illumination to see my surroundings, it was clear that this was not going to happen. The landscape was shrouded in a thick soup of grey fog, under a chunky stew of sombre cloud, topped off with a beefy brew of gloomy light.

All this poor weather was making me hungry, but instead of filling my bemoaning belly, I decided to head up onto the moors to see if there were any atmospheric shots in the offing, while the fog was still so dense.

Stopping in one of the little car parks that dot the moors, I got out and with no particular direction in mind, I took a stroll amongst the dew covered heather and ferns hoping something would catch my eye.

The colours were vibrant thanks to the overcast conditions.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Exmoor Day 3 - The Barle Valley up close

I emerged from my dripping tent, thanks to a boatload of early morning condensation, to a very dim vista, so I couldn’t yet tell what the sky had in store. I jumped in the car, well more sort of slumped, at that time in the morning, and headed towards the Exe Valley again, in the hope I might get a decent start to the day.

I set up in the pre-dawn gloom and prepared myself for the sunrise to come, which was all well and good, except there wasn’t one. Just a dim grey sky turning slowly into a slightly less dim grey sky.

The grey clouds have come out rather blue in this picture, which actually makes the scene look a lot better
than it was.