Walkhampton Common

On 19th May we did a 10-mile walk on Walkhampton Common. These pictures will give some idea of the varied landscapes and terrain we encountered. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.

The Moor

Sampford Spiney

I often post here hotel room views. In this case we stayed in an amazing Airbnb: “The Old National School is a Grade II listed house, nestled in the beautiful hamlet of Sampford Spiney, located within Dartmoor National Park. Dating from 1585, the house sits in an idyllic spot between the Church and picturesque Sampford Manor. Originally the Church hall, it became the parish school in 1887 until 1923. It was only in the 1960’s that it became a residential dwelling. With its varied history, the house is quirky, with its lovely spacious rooms hinting at its eclectic history.” I didn’t photograph all of it, but here are a few snaps to give you some ideas. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.

Merrivale Stone Circle

After leaving the prison museum we went up to have a look at the neolithic Merrivale Stone Circles and Rows. While the pictures are not particularly impressive, the sight of these ancient mysterious constructions fills one with awe. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.

Dartmoor Prison

The notorious Dartmoor Prison maintains a museum!

HM Prison uniforms. Note that women are not issued shoes.

The prison camera and the sitter’s chair for keeping bums in seats, requires the patience of the Buddha. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.

Merrivale Circle

We set out on 18th May to walk the Merrivale Circuit, a 6.5 mile walk that took us past some beautiful scenery and to another tor. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.

Sampford Spiney and Pew Tor

After checking in to our AirBnB we took an early evening stroll up to Pew Tor for some magnificent views. Tors were to figure in many of our subsequent walks. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.


Coming to Farnham, 16th – 18th of June. If you’re in the area, please stop by next weekend to see a group show with my fellow MFA Photography students. (Click to enlarge or, if seeing this in email, click the post title, “New Show” first.)

Text Project, continued

While we were in Exeter I tried rephotographing my text images again. I’m not sure this worked any better than at Golden Cap. (Click on any of the pictures to see them all bigger.)

Roman Wall and Rougemont Castle

Whilst in Exeter we also walked some of the ancient Roman Wall and through Rougemont Gardens and Northernhay Gardens to the remains of Rougemont Castle. Click any image to see them all enlarged.

Dorset to Devon

We started the day at a Donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth with a renowned breakfast restaurant benefiting the donkeys.

Next, we drove on to Exeter, a cathedral town. Click any of the images below to enlarge them and see the captions.

Thomas Hardy Cottage

That same afternoon (16 May) we had a tour of the Thomas Hardy cottage. It’s been decades since I read Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles and I scarcely remember them. The guide told us a lot about Hardy’s life and his family’s history in the area. I took a few pictures – click any of them to see them enlarged to full size.

Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove

Note the extremely clear Mediterranean or Caribbean waters. The kayaker in Stair Hole climbed up and hung from the top of the hole, then we progressed onward to Lulworth Cove (last 2 pictures – click any of them to see them all enlarged with captions). And see the panorama below…

I created the panorama below by stitching together 14 individual handheld shots, sweeping across the horizon. For those interested in technical details, Photoshop stitched them together, evening out changes in sky tone and filling in gaps at top and bottom like a Mercator map projection. The file is 11.5 feet wide and 17″ tall at 300 dpi! Photoshop saved it as a psb file as it wouldn’t fit in the standard .psd format and it was over 4GB. To save space I flattened the image and saved it as a TIFF but it’s still about 1.4GB. You can’t see it here, but opening it up in Photoshop you can zoom in and traverse it like an interactive gaming space. I shot several series like this over the course of the 2 week trip but the files are frankly too large to do this for every set so I’m not sure I’ll bother just for a pretty landscape.

South Coast Path – May 16th

The next day, we only walked about 3 miles in a circuit starting from Lulworth and ending at Lulworth Cove .

If you succumb to any of these hazards, you may find yourself with a Scratchy Bottom:

Click any image below to see them all full-sized, with captions.

Bird on a Log

This was a carefully composed shot and it looks it. I then waited for the bird to take off and while the composition is a tad less balanced, I think it may still be more interesting:

Lyme Regis is also the setting for John Fowles’ great novel, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Meryl Streep was in the movie, also quite good) and this dusky, silhouetted self portrait in a beachfront shop window reminded me of it. I’ve now posted 6 times over 2 days just to cover a single day of our excursion. It may be a long month.

Lyme Regis – Jurassic Coast

Lyme Regis is on the Jurassic Coast, according to Wikipedia, “a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of southern England. It stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, a distance of about 96 miles (154 km), and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in mid-December 2001.”

After dinner we walked along the beach and saw interesting stones, possible fossils and seaweeds. Click any image to enlarge them all and see the captions.

Lyme Regis – Architecture and Shape

That same evening (as the last 3 posts, May 15th) we walked down a steep hill from our AirBnB into the town for dinner and I snapped a few shots of buildings where the contrasty lines and shapes struck me. Click any image to see them all enlarged to full size.

Golden Cap, continued

This past semester my photographic practice has been exploring the subject of inequality: wealth and income inequality as well as gender and ethnic disparities. I have been incorporating text from signs into scenes using Photoshop. For the summer, my tutor suggested placing text-based images I create into the landscape and rephotographing them. So before departing on this trip I prepared 3 images. One simply says “Broken Promises,” a famous graffito from the Bronx, another shows mathematical symbols for inequality, “<>” and “≠,” and I also abstracted a sign I saw in the car park of the Palm Springs Art Museum on a trip several years ago that simply says, “Imagine Art Here.” Then I asked Margaret to hold them for me while we were near Golden Cap. I also found places along our walks to place them in the scene. I’m not sure they’re really doing that much for me. Click any image to see them enlarged.