Why Do I Do This?

Surely There Has to be Some Reasoning?

Dartmoor; National Park;

Great Staple tor before the rain hit

I’m stood on the top of wet rocks hanging on to my tripod. I walked up through hail and snow showers to get to this tor. There’s quite a drop below me and I’m not good with heights. Vertigo, I think they call it. I can’t look down because it makes me dizzy. I never used to be like this. I think it’s my age and the realisation that if I fall, it’s going to really hurt. To make things worse, there’s a hole where I want to put my foot. I get a feeling that if I slip I’m going to fall and all that will be found is my camera and tripod. Why do I do this?

I’ve been to this spot many times and left with a feeling I can get a better shot. It’s here somewhere; I just need the right conditions. The sun sets in the right place and the composition is good. I want to capture this view and share how wonderful it is. I just need the right light.

I watch the light coming from the west as the clouds are blown over by the high winds. This could be good. I can’t see any more showers for the minute so I should stay dry. I’m starting to get excited. Maybe this time. I take a reading and make a test exposure. I watch the light changing and clouds moving as I’m battered by the wind. I imagine how the shot will look; wonderful stormy light with dark moody skies above and the grasses blurred to give a sense of the conditions. I release the cable button and check the screen. Pretty good. Time for another.

The light lasts for about 3 minutes so I make a few other compositions before packing up and heading back to the car. I get caught in another hail shower; the stones bounce off my eyelids making it almost impossible to see. I’m glad to get back to my car for some shelter. Hard work but I know I’ve got images worth sharing.

When I got into photography all those years ago I loved showing people the wonderful views of places I’d been, but I was never satisfied with the way those small pieces of paper portrayed what I’d seen. Everything seemed smaller and less grand. Now with digital I can actually convey what I see and, to some extent, feel at the time of capture. I feel now I can truly share the experience and show people this stunning place we all call home.

That’s why I do this.