Emsworthy Barn, Dartmoor

by David Gibbeson

After photographing Saddle Tor and the rocks to the north I headed to the Emsworthy barn. I was hoping to see some sort of sign of an abundance of bluebells that resemble the amazing photos that I have seen by other local photographers such as Richard Fox, Alan Howe and Adrian Oakes.

I could already tell looking over from the rocks where I shot the tree in my last post that I wasn’t going to be greeted by carpets of purple. I knew it was probably a little early, but my optimism was fuelled by the bluebells that have added colour to our front garden for weeks. I don’t normally photography the bluebells each year but have decided it is time to make the most of the photographic opportunities that are around me.

The barn is just a short walk from the road; but far enough away to not hear any road noise. Despite the lack of the bluebell carpet the area is well worth a visit. There is so much character there, and it is beautiful. I love the old rock walls that are scattered around the barn, and the barn’s red tin roof really complements the scene.


A Barn on Dartmoor

The Barn at Emsworthy was illuminated by the morning sun.

I had plenty of compositions to try. This small area has so much to offer even without bluebells. I especially loved the moss covered walls in the main photo of this post and how I could use them as a leading line towards the barn. There was quite a lot of broken cloud but the brisk winds ensured that they were crossing the landscape in good pace. I found myself standing with my composition all set, watching the patches of sunlight that were illuminating the moor approach. I love how the trees around the barn impose their shadow across the landscape, and how the branches of the huge tree I was under come down into the scene. I think it adds a real level of intimacy to the picture. I could have moved closer but the composition just wasn’t as strong and I wanted the barn to be part of the composition; not the only thing in it.

I have found myself becoming more and more willing to wait for the light lately. It isn’t that I wouldn’t wait before; I just seem to be happier to wait longer, with a much clearer vision of what I am aiming to photograph. I still like to just capitalise on what nature offers me though, I guess I am still evolving as a photographer even after over a decade of taking photos. On the whole I had a great morning on the moor, and got several good photos. How can that not be a success!


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