Back to Basics at Belstone

Better Out Than In

For reasons that I will explain in a future blog post/video, I am without a full-frame Nikon camera at the moment. Now, I could use this time to have a break from landscape photography but that’s not really the way I roll. Despite the lack of a D850 I didn’t want to pass up on a perfectly good opportunity to get out and take some pictures. Well, I say perfectly good opportunity but that wasn’t exactly accurate.

Checking the local forecast it was predicting clear skies. Not just a little clear, but totally clear. No clouds. Clear blue skies. Everywhere. Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, and Somerset. When it came to selecting where to go it seemed to make little difference. My instinct told me to head to the coast so I could make the most of the sunset (which had been consistently good over the past few evenings), but with the lack of a “big” camera, I had no way of using any of my filters. At a bare minimum I always want to shoot seascapes with a polariser, but this wasn’t an option. So I decided to head to a location that wasn’t too far away but still had far-reaching views.

There really was only one location to head to and that was Belstone Common on Dartmoor.

Don’t Let Your Camera Hold You Back

I am in the very fortunate position where I have access to a number of different cameras so even without my aforementioned Nikon camera I still had a couple of options to take with me to Belstone. Like most people I have a mobile phone that is capable of taking decent images but I don’t really like that form factor for anything other than taking snapshots. I also still have my old Sony RX100M4 which is a much better option than the phone. However, I decided to take my most recent camera, the Panasonic Lumix G80.

I’ve had the G80 for a little while now but it is almost exclusively used for vlogging. I rarely take any still images with it. The G80 is a more than capable stills camera and even though it might not be in the same league as my D850, there shouldn’t be any reason why I couldn’t put it to good use. The only real challenge for me would be that I wouldn’t be able to use any filters as I didn’t have an adaptor ring for the 12-60mm kit lens. Effectively it was back to basics for me. Just me, a tripod and a camera.

Oke Tor, Belstone Common, Dartmoor, Devon - Panasonic Lumix G80, 12-60 mm lens at 14 mm, f/11, 1/6th second at ISO 200.

I wasn’t going to let my minimal camera setup hold me back, but the weather conditions were a different challenge. Those bright blue skies aren’t my favourite thing to photograph, but as the sunset there was some nice soft golden light which allowed me to capture these images.

Belstone Commoon and Irishman's Wall, Belstone Common, Dartmoor, Devon - Panasonic Lumix G80, 12-60 mm lens at 14 mm, f/11, 1/6th second at ISO 200.

I hope you enjoyed this short blog post. I was reasonably happy with the images I captured. One thing was for sure, the camera wasn’t the limitation. Having access to to a polariser and some grads would have definitely been useful, but they weren’t the limiting factor. I always knew the weather conditions weren’t going to yield amazing results but sometimes just being outside and watching the sunset from Dartmoor is all the reward you need.