Dartmoor in spring photography course images

Home » Photography workshops » Photography course images » Dartmoor in spring photography course images

Dartmoor in spring photography course images shot by Nigel Hicks during his 25th May 2024 workshop

Dartmeet and Bench Tor, Dartmoor, Devon.

Click on any image to launch a slide show

Photographing Dartmoor in spring, at the end of May, is a wonderful time of year. At this time, all the trees have just finished leafing out, there are wild flowers everywhere (well, almost!) and basically the moor is alive with the vibrants greens of new life.

That was indeed how we found Dartmoor on this day, and it was really quite stunning. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was less positive, showing the weather deteriorating throughout the afternoon and evening. At the start, we were looking at small amounts of sunshine and growing amounts of cloud, giving way to continual rain by early evening.

So we headed off to Bench Tor first, hoping to be able to photograph the open moor in a bit of sunshine and generally benign weather. By the time we got there, the cloud cover was almost total, so I quickly got into showing how to shoot landscapes in such grey weather – especially the importance of neutral density graduated filters, for example, as well as the use of a tripod to maximise depth of field.

So for a couple of hours Dartmoor in spring photography consisted of some very rugged and increasingly stormy views of the rocks and gnarled trees up on this beautiful tor.

By the end of the afternoon, with the weather deteriorating, we headed down to Dartmeet and its riverside woodlands.

Normally, when running a workshop at or around Dartmeet, I take my students downriver some distance to some truly wild riverside woodland. It’s a beautiful spot, and perhaps more importantly it’s well away from the crowds that usually hang around at Dartmeet itself. Today, however, with the afternoon almost over and the clouds threatening to drop some heavy rain, there were few people about. So I opted to stay around Dartmeet, photographing the beautiful riverside woodland landscapes here.

No need for ND grad filters here – there was no need to include any sky in the images – but instead it was essential to put the camera on a tripod. Light levels were becoming very low, making handholding impossible. The plus-side was that it was easy to shoot with nice long exposure times, blurring out the water as it flowed around the many mid-stream rocks. Doing this greatly enhanced the sense of movement in what could otherwise have become rather static scenes.

One of the main skills to practise here was how to simplify compositions and end up with strong clutter-free images, despite the inevitable chaos of a woodland and woodland river landscape. No easy task, but once I’d demonstrated how to shoot a couple of scenes, my students quickly got the right idea.

Fortunately, standing under Dartmeet’s dense canopy of trees sheltered us from the growing rain, that came and went as the evening went on. The result was that we were able to carry on doing some great photography, making the best of the dim, flat light that the heavily clouded sky provided.

Eventually, however, the rain did start to become a bit too much, so the day wound up a little earlier than planned, but with some great photography in the bag.

The images on this page were shot by me while demonstating various techniques. I hope you’ll like them.

Thanks so much for visiting this page!

Dartmoor in spring

Back to top