When my friend, who also happens to be a photographer, called me to tell me snow was forecast for Dartmoor and would I like to join him on a morning shoot, I just had to say yes. What better way to start the day than a quick hike up to Great Mis Tor to capture some morning light, and hopefully a little snow.
As is sometimes the way, the timing of this too good miss offer wasn't great. I had commitments that morning that I could not miss. So I decided to work out all the timings to see I could fit it all in.
I would need to get up at 05:30 to meet my friend at 06:30. It would then be a short drive of about 20 minutes to get to the car park near the start of the walk. It's then about another 20 to 30-minute walk up to Great Mis Tor.
Sunrise was going to be about 08:04, and I would need to be back in the car no later than 09:00. It was going tight that was for sure!
On the morning of the shoot, things started off as expected. We started our walk up to Great Mis Tor with great enthusiasm and chat about the recent Star Wars film and the lack of Game of Thrones in 2018. As we walked up there was a distinct lack of snow, but as we approached Great Mis Tor we found the ground covered with a light dusting of snow. It looked beautiful.
I'd never been to Great Mis Tor before and I surprised by how large an area it was. With only about 15 to 20 minutes before sunrise, I was going to have to work fast to work out what compositions I was going to shoot. I could spot different weather conditions all around me so I also knew things could and probably would change rapidly.
Go Go Go!
After a little scout about, the action started fairly quickly. I was mostly relying on my instincts as I went from spot to spot capturing images. I was glad that I was well versed in the workings of the D850 so I was able to setup and shoot with the camera with ease, allowing me to concentrate on compositions.
As predicted the weather and conditions changed rapidly. We had everything from pink clouds to snow showers to beautiful light on the surrounding hills. It was fun and exciting, but hard work. Here are the photos that I captured:
In retrospect, I wasn't able to make the most of my time there and I perhaps could have captured stronger images. It was always going to be a challenge though given the amount of time I had there, and my lack of experience with the location (and it's many viewpoints). Did I regret my visit? Of course not!
There is almost always something to be gained from a trip out with the camera. Firstly I got to visit a new location. Great Mis Tor is definitely a location I will photograph again. It was also great being up on Dartmoor. A walk on Dartmoor is always a special thing, but when it snows it can be magical. (If you want to see what I mean check out my vlog from Belstone Common). And finally, it was great to have the opportunity to catch up with a friend. Overall, time well spent in my opinion!
So have you had the chance to shoot any snowy landscapes this year? Do you take every opportunity to squeeze in time with the camera? Let me know in the comments below.