Valley of the Rocks - 5 Minute Photo Adventure


Photographers will often use the word dramatic to describe the coastline of the south west of England.  I've even been know to use the word once or twice in my own videos!  While it is true that much of the coastline in the area is indeed dramatic, there are few such locations as the Valley of the Rocks in North Devon that have really earned that title.

No matter if you are a photographer or not, walking along the South West Coast Path as it cuts through the valley is a sight to behold.  On a good day you can see out over the channel and onto Wales, or just appreciate the steep and rocky cliffs as you stroll along the path at what appears to be a dizzying height.

But enough of me waxing lyrical about the location, take a look at my latest 5 Minute Photo Adventure video to see what I'm talking about.

On Location

I hope you feel inspired to visit the Valley of the Rocks.  I shot a little more drone footage than I probably would have for one of these videos, but sometimes you need more than 15 to 30 seconds of video footage to help tell the story of a location.

I opted to shoot from an elevated position so that I could get a long view down the valley and hopefully get some nice evening light across the rock faces.  These are two of the images I took, just taken a little time apart.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 @ 22mm, ISO 100, 1 second, f/16, Lee Filters circular polariser and ND grad.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 @ 22mm, ISO 100, 1.3 seconds, f/16, Lee Filters circular polariser and ND grad.

I'm reasonably happy with both images.  They are probably the best images I've captured there.  However, being the picky photographer that I am, there are a couple of things I would like to have been a little different.  Firstly it would have been nice for the golden light to be a little stronger and more widespread.  You can just about see the golden light coming through on the foreground rocks, but having more it along the valley would have been nice.  However, it did light up the sky very nicely.

While things like the light are sometimes out with my control, the composition is my job.  It's not that I'm unhappy with the composition of both photos, but for the first image, I should have shot just a little wider.  Perhaps around 17 or 18 mm.  The setting sun in that image is very close to the edge of the frame.  I should have either excluded it all together or given it more room.  I was probably concentrating on other elements around the frame or just waiting for the sun to go from the frame.  It might have been that this was a test shot while I was waiting for the sun to leave my composition.  It's strange how sometimes that an image you never intended to be the "one" can end up being the favourite from a shoot.

Go Explore

Though I only photographed from one location that evening, there are numerous spots along that part of the South West Coast Path to shoot from.  It's well worth getting there a little early just to have a wander and take in the location. No matter what you shoot with or what you like to photograph you should find something inspiring.  It might even be the wondering goats or the cricketers playing a match on the valley cricket field!

So have you been to the Valley of the Rocks?  Did the video and images give you the inspiration to visit this stunning location?  Let me know in the comments below.

And before you go....

Oh, and one last thing.  I'm very happy to be in Feedspots Top 75 Landscape Photography blogs.  Why not check out out the other 74!  There are some top names in there so it's well worth checking out.