Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Exmoor Day 2 - Moorland sunrise & some wild ponies

Sunrise light over the Exmoor landscape by Martyn Ferry Photography

I was up early again in the hope that sunrise would be more amenable than the previous day. I took the little lane that heads upwards onto the moors, before arriving at at the coast road and then onwards to Porlock. I stopped on the silent moor and hunted around for some heather, which was a bit of a task, as there wasn't much about. I found a small patch that would have serve as my foreground colour and parked up, watching the sky to see if my time was about to be wasted again.

Setting up in the still morning, all I could hear were the eccentric bleatings of distant sheep, as they rummaged around in the undergrowth for some breakfast, but beyond that, it was as if the landscape itself was still sleeping as there was complete stillness.

After waiting a little while a small glimmer appeared on the horizon, there was a great deal of cloud about, but thankfully a nice gap had appeared, which allowed the rising orb to fling a little colour about the surrounding brumey blanket.

Here's a close up a section of clouds which I thought were quite interesting, it's like they are spilling
through a gap

Once the sun had disappeared into the all encompassing cloud cover, I took a little drive down to an agreeable spot, that I had driven through a few times, but not stopped at. I wanted to try and get a shot that captured the, for want of a better word, quaintness, of the place, where the lane passes over a little bridge and curves up and around the modest but beautiful landscape.

I was there for a while trying out various compositions, and I never really did get one I was happy with, no matter how many walls I climbed on or boggy ditched I pitched myself into.

A small lane winds over the Exmoor landscape under cloud by Martyn Ferry Photography
This was the best of the bunch, but I couldn't really get the composition to work how I wanted it to.

Still, it was a nice place to be, and thanks to the remoteness of the road, the only company I had were a flock of skittish sheep. Once I'd spent some time, in vain, trying to get the shot, I took the correct course of action and gave up. 

I took a few more shots of the surrounding area as the light, while not dramatic, had an interesting quality to it and lent the charming scenery a compelling character.

A little stream flows through the Exmoor landscape by Martyn Ferry Photography
A little stream makes it's way through the landscape.

Soft light bathes the lush green landscape in Exmoor National Park by Martyn Ferry Photography
Soft light drapes itself over the lush, green scenery.
A group of trees stand in silhouette in Exmoor National Park by Martyn Ferry Photography
This group of trees stand in silhouette with a patch of blue sky visible behind them.

On my back I happened across a herd of wild Exmoor ponies, so I parked up and wandered over, fully expecting them to bolt as soon as they saw me, but to my surprise they didn't, and stood around munching on grass while I took a few shots. After a while they decided, for reasons of their own, to move along and they wandered off in dribs and drabs. A couple of foals took off at some speed, and I quickly unleashed my usual compliment of wildlife photography skills, hence the very poor shot. 

A group of wild Exmoor Ponies chew on grass in Exmoor National Park by Martyn Ferry Photography
This group of wild ponies chewed on their breakfast while I merrily snapped away.
An inept shot of two foals rushing off to catch up with the rest of the herd.

I took a final image on my way back to the campsite, along what is very aptly called The Tunnel, a small lane completely enclosed by high hedges and overhanging trees, which was looking resplendent in the early morning light.

Exmoor country lane winds through a lush green tunnel of vegetation by Martyn Ferry Photography
The fact this road is actually called The Tunnel on maps shows how long this vegetation has been growing
along this road.

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