A Tale of the Unexpected

Two Plans in One

Summer generally brings blue skies and warm weather.  All very nice for relaxing in and drinking glasses of chilled white wine, but generally useless for landscape photography.  After what had seemed to be an endless streak of blue sky evenings I had decided that enough was enough and I was going to go out with the camera.  Worst case scenario I could do some exploration of new locations, and best case I might get some high-level cloud around sunset and be able to fire off a couple of frames.

I've been trying to explore more of my local coastline recently so I decided I would visit a location that had been recommended to me by a friend.  It's the kind of location you want to visit on a high tide, with a bit of wind and lots of clouds.  None of these conditions would be present on this visit, but as this was a mission of exploration, none of that mattered.  I just wanted to scope out the location.

As I also had a bit of time I thought I would visit that location first and then head to a different location to catch the sunset.  Looking at the map I could see I wouldn’t be far from Froward Point and as I hadn't shot that viewpoint in a while I decided to tag it onto my itinerary.

Blue Skies, Blue Ocean

It was a beautiful summers evening as I set out in my car to my first location.  Despite it not being ideal conditions for landscape photography summer is a great time to be driving around Devon.  Everything looks lush and green and you can't help but feel everything is going to be just fine!

That sense of well-being and calm continued as I made the last part of my journey to the first location on foot.  As I already knew I wasn't going to be taking any "serious" pictures at the location it didn't bother me that it was calm seas and bright blue skies.  I took a number of test shots from various different angles.  I had to try hard to envisage the location in less settled conditions, but I at least now had a good idea of what I might want to achieve next time.  Definitely a location to return to.

I was soon back in the car and crossing the River Dart using the ferry.  This is something I haven't done before so it was an added bit of excitement to my little road trip! 

Golden Fields

To get to Froward Point you first have to park at the Brownstone National Trust car park and then walk the rest of the way.  As you make your way down to the coastline you walk by Daymark Tower, a popular location for photography and a location I’ve shot myself many times.  In fact, I had shot it a few weeks before so I was happy enough to pass it by.  However, as I walked by it did catch my eye.  Instead of the crops being a greeny yellow colour they had turned a golden colour and looked quite different.  It did cross my mind that it might photograph well when the sunsets, but I carried on walking, focused on getting to the coastline.

You can shoot Froward Point from a number of different angles as you can see from this blog post here and here.  For this visit I decided to go for the spot almost directly below the NCI lookout.  I have to admit that when I arrived I just wasn't feeling that excited about shooting there.  I'm not sure why this was.  The sky now had a few very high-level clouds in it but the rest of the scene wasn't really doing it for me. 

I think at the back of my mind I knew that I would have been better off back at Daymark Tower and shooting those golden fields of crops.  As time progressed and my desire to photograph Froward Point didn't increase I decided there was no point in waiting until sunset and so I packed my bag and started to walk back to the car.

 As I approached Daymark Tower I could see how good the light looked on the tower and the crops.  With about 15 minutes of good light left I get to work very quickly and captured these images.

Field of Gold, Daymark Tower, Devon - Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 at 17mm, f/13, 1/3rd second at ISO 64.

Tower of Gold, Daymark Tower, Devon - Nikon D850, Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 at 70mm, f/11, 1/6th second at ISO 64.

Fire Beacon, Daymark Tower, Devon  - Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 at 24mm, f/13, 0.4 second at ISO 64 (single image crop at 16:7).

Fire Beacon, Daymark Tower, Devon - Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 at 24mm, f/13, 0.4 second at ISO 64 (single image crop at 16:7).

Though I've shot Daymark Tower a few times, I'd never photographed it looking like this.  A combination of clear skies, golden light, and golden crops made for some very pleasing images.  Considering I hadn't planned on capturing images at Daymark, these unexpected images were very welcome!

Have you ever passed a location and then wished you'd gone back?  Have you ever gone to one location but decided to go somewhere that you had originally dismissed?  Let me know in the comments below.