Mike Wright Photography

20th February 2019


The first couple of pictures this month are from a walk along the edge of the moor, walking down into Sticklepath Wood and then back along the cycle track towards Yelverton, crossing the viaduct. It was a bit of a scramble at times and my knee did suffer a bit. The tree was interesting – a large branch, broken off and hanging down. As we got further down into the valley, we came across the adit – didn't go into it as there are a lot of old mineshafts dotted about in this area, and it's not worth taking the chance. And we didn't have a torch.


Next photos are from Coventry, where the day seemed to revolve around parking. We had to spend a day up there while waiting for a friend to finish in a meeting. Having dropped her off, we headed for the city centre and having checked Google Streetview, new exactly where the car park was. We went straight to it, only to find that it was a construction site – a new multi story car park was being built. So, we had to drive around trying to find somewhere to park.


I have to say, the car parks were not well signposted, and it took about half an hour and a couple of turn-arounds before we managed to find one. Having parked, we headed for the Cathedral, looking around the old one first and then – finding the new one wasn't open – went for a coffee. When we got in, the new Cathedral was breathtaking and I hope the pictures I took gave some idea of how impressive it was.


After the Cathedral, we went into The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, which was very good. Lots of interesting exhibits and some good pictures in the gallery. By the time we'd finished there, it was lunch time.


After lunch, we consulted the tourist guide and decided to go and have a look at Fargo Village. We thought it was a bit far to walk (it wasn't!) so took the car and found the car park for the Village. It had a really good second hand bookshop, which cost us a bit of money and a few second hand/antique shops, which we browsed and then decided to go back to the original car park and have an afternoon tea in the Herbert Museum cafe. After that, we collected our friend and headed back for Devon.


About a week later, the parking for Fargo Village came back to bite us in the form of a letter, saying we had parked in a private section of the car park and would need to pay £100, reduced to £60 if we payed within a fortnight. Needless to say we were outraged. We had paid to park and hadn't seen any signs saying the side of the car park in which we had parked was private (had we parked in the other half there wouldn't have been a problem). I appealed, and this was rejected. I read up about private parking charges and decided to write to Coventry City Council. They weren't impressed and sent me a very polite email showing the signs at the entrance to the car park. I didn't feel they were particularly clear, but they were there, so I didn't have a leg to stand on and paid the £60 – reluctantly. So, while the Cathedral and Museum were excellent, I wouldn't recommend visiting Coventry.


The next few shots are of Kingsand in Cornwall, where I went for my Birthday and Lesley treated me to lunch at The Devonport. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.


I hadn't been out on the moor for a while, so I got out early and did the walk from Norsworthy Bridge car park to the remains of Combestone Farm. It's a while since I've done this walk and there had been a lot of forestry clearance – sections of the path which had been dark and claustrophobic were now light, with devastation where the conifer plantations had been. There were flocks of coal tits feeding on the ground, whereas they would normally have been up in the tops of the trees – quite a change of habitat for them.


Next up are a few shots from the garden – some before the snow arrived and some after. As it was the first time we'd had a decent fall of snow this year, we went for a walk from the car park behind the Dartmoor Inn on the A386 and headed for the River Lyd. A few years earlier, I had been to a waterfall there and we tried to get to again for a few photographs. Unfortunately, my knee is not as strong as it was back then and I'd forgotten how narrow and steep the paths were – made more treacherous by the lying snow, so we didn't quite make the waterfall. It was a good walk, though.


Then we had more snow, and for a couple of days couldn't get the car out of the car park. Then the roads cleared a bit, and I set off early for Burrator, getting some sunrise shots over the reservoir and then walking up to Leather Tor Bridge, along Devonport Leat and back down through the woods to the car park, getting some pleasing shots along the way.


After the snow had gone, my friend, Ian, had some time off and we decided to head for Wistman's Wood. It's a long walk, from the car park, but it is fairly flat, so it wasn't too bad. The wood itself is quite tricky to photograph – lots of trees, obviously, but the ground is covered with some very large, moss-covered boulders, making it tricky to move through. I tended to stay in one area and use my telephoto lens to pick details out. The wood itself is supposed to be one of the most haunted places on the moor, but neither of us felt anything out of the ordinary while we were there. However, on looking at the pictures, quite a few of the trees seemed to make figures or faces. See what you think when you look at the pictures.


Finally, it was camera club and we did some splash photography – dropping pieces of fruit into a glass of water, or into watered down paint in some cases. It's very addictive when you get going, trying to get that ideal splash. There were a lot of people there this month – Pete, who started the whole thing – must be very pleased with it.


So that's it for this month. Competition wise, I had four shots shortlisted over the past year, but none of them got any further. I'm just wondering what I have to do to get up to that extra level and get them selected for the final positions. I have three entries in at the moment – two for Outdoor Photography's 'One Thing This Month' competition – one for 'Woodland Landscapes' and the other for 'Winter Landscapes and the third one in a new competition – Close up Photographer of the Year. Have to see how well I do in these.