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The Sagacious Journey - thoughts....


Journeys through the coast, moors and rolling hills of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

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The Sagacious Journey - thoughts....

26 Apr 2012 11:14AM   Views : 1138 Unique : 702

‘The Sagacious Journey’


“Few things are brought to a successful issue by impetuous desire, but most by calm and prudent forethought.“


Greek Historian and author 460 BC – c. 395 BC

Evening light bathing the fields flanking the Avon valley in the South Hams of Devon - whilst hail laden thunder clouds roll across the Dartmoor plateau in the distance. Loddiswell is the village in the near distance.

The pleasure in realising ideas in photography can sometimes be a spontaneous reaction to some unforeseen culmination of wonderful light, great location, the right season and so on that compel one to preserve that transient moment and share the experience with others who were not there to witness the event.
‘The Sagacious Journey’ panorama looks from Churchstow near Kingsbridge, across the wide undulating bucolic landscape containing the valleys of the Rivers Avon, Erme and Yealm as they make their ceaseless journeys from the southern slopes of the Dartmoor plateau.

It is a scene I have stopped to gaze at many times on my way to the south coast of Devon and one I have relished at seeing. Until making the panorama I made photos only in my mind of this location, thinking about the possibilities of how to make an image that encapsulated the essence of the grand vista in a way that did it justice. What light should I seek? What weather? Where were the start and end points to be of the sequence of frames to be so that it had some sense of invitation into the depths of the hills and valleys? What leading lines and curves could I use?

On the day I made the 15 frames to complete the panoramic idea I knew the weather on the moors was dramatic and could see that clearer skies lay to the south, the light was intriguing and I had a ‘feeling’ that this might be the opportunity I was looking for to complete an idea that had been buzzing round my head for three years!

The elements I decided to include were the long graceful curve of the nearby hedge and the two open gateways seemed to be inviting my gaze into the land beyond. The red roof of the farm house on the lower left and the yellow rapeseed fields being warm colours seemed to draw one deeper into the hills. The hazier and darker slopes on the edge of the moorland plateau – rather broody under the shadows of the slow moving thundery clouds give a sense of imminent drama which contrasts with the sunlit cheerfully coloured foreground which was bathed in many parts by late evening light. Then the dynamic shapes of the higher altitude clouds above seemed to add a pleasing drift out of the top corners of the image.

Here is a small section of the panorama.....


The old Bilora tripod (which used to be my Grandfather’s one) decided to remain seized in one of its legs, despite my efforts - so the necessity to shoot hand-held for 15 frames was both a concern but added to the journey to make this a rewarding actualisation of an idea!

I look forward to seeing it in print at 5 feet wide by 14 inches high (at 300dpi) as with the limitations of the size of a computer monitor it is only possible to see it compressed in height or to view small sections at a time. I am pleased with how it all came together and hope that it shows my reverence for this particular vista.

There are many more possibilities from the same place in different light, different times and seasons, but for now I feel a sense of joy and satisfaction in having been able to witness and record a collection of coinciding events that excelled my prior visualisations of what could be.

Tags: Journey Panorama Narrative Bucolic Sagacious

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