Brentor Mist

Brentor shortly after it emerged from the mist

6 years ago I made my first early morning hikes onto Dartmoor with my camera. On the way up from Peter Tavy you have an almost constant view across to Brentor and often I have seen mist gliding down the valley below. The prominence of Brentor makes it pretty clear that in perfect conditions only the church would rise above the mist and I’ve previously thought how great it would be to capture it like this.

On this particular summer morning mist had been forecast and I got up at 03.40 to give me loads of time before sunrise. I drove up to the moor open mindedly, although I like to plan you can certainly overplan for certain conditions and in my experience mist is so patchy and transient that it pays to be mobile and select your location at the time. Most of the mist seemed to be sweeping around the northern edge of the moor and the villages and fields closest to the moor were totally clear. Brentor on the other hand was nowhere to be seen and, with half a mind to shoot a favourite Hawthorn on the western edge of Cox Tor, I raced over there and set up my camera gear. Brentor briefly appeared above the mist as I was preparing the time-lapse and I shot a few stills before the church was again swallowed by the mist.

I agonised for a while about the best interval to choose. With some 40 minutes until sunrise I wanted to set a longish interval (of perhaps 10 seconds) but that risked excessive motion in the mist. I settled on 6 seconds and then set up and waited. 20 minutes later and Brentor still hadn’t appeared again. I was cursing my luck and getting increasingly cold in the breeze when the rolling wave of mist started to drop and drop…..

The resulting sequence gave a play time of 13 seconds, far longer than I usually aim for (6-8 seconds) but this was definitely a scene I wanted to overshoot! The mist moves along a little bit too fast, but I’m still very pleased with the result.

Speak Your Mind