Photography Walk - Belstone

December 30, 2020
December 30, 2020
Emily by the River Taw

My second (socially distanced) 'trial run' Photography Walk.

With the talented Emily who is (amongst other things) a photographer herself.

It was a bit of a last minute thing and we decided to meet in Belstone before sunrise and just see where our noses took us!


The village of Belstone is well worth a visit itself (it's not only beautiful, but rather wonderful to boot).

However on this occasion, I wanted to get onto the moor and hopefully catch the sunrise. I'd been in the area as dawn broke before, and had never been lucky enough to capture anything other than rain clouds 😂

Hawthorn at Sunrise

On the track to the River Taw - the sun was in out and from behind clouds, but on a few occasions I managed to grab some morning sunlight!

More Trees

Lots of hawthorn close to the River Taw


I actually took this when I was waiting for Emily to arrive ... the tree next to where I parked!

A bit of Sun!

The whole day was very much a mixture of wonderful light, and dark clouds and rain 😁

Spot the Nest

I love this line of trees on the far bank of the river ... and try to capture a few images of them whenever I'm in the area 😍

As I've mentioned before, my Photography Walks are customised to each persons needs and as our walk was very much an impromptu excursion, we spent much of the outset just taking photographs and getting to know one another.

Emily, as I mentioned, is a photographer herself, so I invested some quality time boring her with details of how I prefer to go about things  😂

One of my tenets of Photography is 'nobody is right all the time' ...

... you may have found a good way to achieve a result, but it doesn't mean you should disallow the advice or process of others.

Let me try to explain with a short story...


Paul tell's a story

Industar 52mm Soviet Lens

When I started out taking photography more seriously again and I was excited to discover you could use old film camera lenses on your digital camera, I set about finding myself sources of interesting lenses.

Remembering that this was a long time before it became super popular to use vintage lenses, I was overjoyed to find an Israeli camera dealer on eBay who was selling old Soviet lenses at a reasonble price 😍

I counted my pennies and ordered an Industar 52mm f2.8 a beautiful shiny silver version!

I awaited the arrival with expectations raised.

Industar 52mm f2.8 Lens

My lovely spangly Soviet lens arrived and I set off out to capture some magic!

Totally rubbish results 🙄

The lens sat on a shelf for a while and eventually made it back into my camera bag when I'd promised myself it really needed another outing.

... Days passed

... Weeks passed.

Then one afternoon, whilst wandering in Hembury Woods close to Buckfastleigh, excited by the sun making an appearance after a fairly standard few days of torrential rain, I spotted the shiny lens in my bag and thought 'What the hell!'


Woodland Path

The knack was to find the right conditions for the lens to 'shine'

Lens Flare

The Industar really isn't a great lens, but open the aperture and get the sun in the right place!

Shiny Shiny

The fairytale effect just kept getting better 😍

Winter Warmer

I took this image in February 2020 ... the lens is very much (in my arsenal) a one trick pony ... but a very special pony 🐴

Honey Suckle

Splendid blurry burnout gloriousness 

"You should always try things twice - the first time you might not have been concentrating, or you might have even just been asking the wrong questions"

The Industar 52mm f2.8 - it's rather good for that 'fairytale' feel 😍

So, the moral of the story is never buy a lens from eBay 🤣 ... there is no moral, just never stop listening, never stop experimenting and never give up on something purely because you couldn't achieve what you wanted the first time 😍

And back to the trip around Belstone!

Sunrise & Silhouettes

You know those spots that make you want to come back and see what they look like in different light ... this is one of those places 😁

The Dip

On the other side of the river, a survivor 😍


Love this little bend in the river, in all weathers it gives you such a variety of shapes and colours to play with 😁

The Bend to Steeperton

Another oft photographed bend in the river!

Almost Converging Lines

I spend a lot of time trying to not stick to conventions ... but this was a gift not to be ignored 😍

Taw Marsh

We were really lucky with the weather, although it rained on and off, it gave some splendidly dramatic skies 😍


Our companion for the day ... the enigmatic Sam

I wasn't sure there was much I could teach Emily, she already has a style and workflow of her own, but I guess sometimes just wandering and chatting is an interesting way to learn.

Although I'd not seen much of Emily's work, she had seen plenty of mine and hopefully enjoyed my more moody, melancholic approach to landscapes.

In the future, I'll be offering group walks and local workshops to explain the basics of photography.

Please be aware that my style of both photography and teaching will most certainly not be to everyones taste 😂

If you like my work, why not get in touch and we can arrange something!

Sam Again

Crazy dog entertaining us on our adventures!


I didn't exactly catch this beauty, but the sky looked too great to ignore!


I do enjoy a nice moody sky ... if you like my editing ... why not check out Work Flow journal entry 😊

Slowly getting to grips with this 'Photography Walk' thing, and realising I might actually be able to help people improve their photography (or at least get them to approach things in a different way).

So happy Emily found it useful ... and I got some amazing images!

A win - win 😎

I met up with Paul for one of his photography walks. He was extremely flexible, fitting me in last minute. He put me at...

Posted by Emily Martin on Thursday, 11 February 2021

I'm also organising workshops to help develop peoples interest in Photography.

These will be 'classroom' based (to a certain extent) please contact me if this kind of thing will be of interest 😍

Read more journal entries

Glavind Strachan Photography

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