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Looking Around You Pays Off

Today’s post comes from Geoff Powell. I first saw some of Geoff’s work featured in a photography magazine and was impressed it’s quality and his story. I tracked him down online and asked if he’d be interested to share a post, some of his images as well as part of his story in this post.

I live in the county of Devon in the UK and love being on Dartmoor and even though I can only get around using a wheelchair I am restricted to the lanes and roads.

Walkers 11X8 02

I am also a photographer and as you will see I can still, with a lot of patience, find a pleasing picture. One damp drizzling day on a woodland path I, along with two companions and two dogs, arrived at a point where I could go no further due to the roughness of the path. My friends went on ahead and I would make my way back to the car and meet up with them there.

Ah, but then I saw, just a little way ahead, no more than a few yards, the possibility of a really good picture. So I decided to have a go. Manoeuvering my wheelchair into position I suddenly found myself slipping sideways down a muddy pathway towards a drop of about twenty feet! Luck was on my side as I came to a stop several feet from the edge. With much muttering and the odd curse it took about twenty minutes to get back up the slope, and no, I didn’t get the picture. But now breathless and much more awake, I saw the magic light in the misty woods.


Dartmoor Tor Through Rainy Windscreen

On another trip on another rainy day I came upon the horse looking through the barn window and had to manoeuvre my car into the best position to take this picture. I don’t know whether it is a laugh, a yawn or a hello but it is I feel amusing.

Often I see the possibility of a really good photo but it would mean being able to get out of the car, over a gate, cross a stream, stoop, squat, bend to take it. But the frustration disappears when I see at my eye-level such a warm picture as the lock on the gate at Widecombe church, or in the churchyard the snowdrops.

I realise as I write this article that so many of my best photographs of Dartmoor are taken on ” bad weather ” days.

Dartmoor Tor

Christmas Day 2001 and with a friend and an in-car picnic we mooched about, if you can mooch about in a car, on the moor. I had just driven up the road past the two trees when I saw the potential and reversed back down the road. Still in the car I positioned myself so that the trees framed the picture and had taken a couple of shots when the memory card ran out. I put in a new one, looked up, and once again good fortune paid for the effort as the two walkers came over the brow of the hill just as I raised the camera to my eye. One second later and I would have missed this image.

Thanks must go to my companion who accompanies me on my Dartmoor trips, who heaves the wheelchair in and out of the boot and puts up with my grumpiness when a cow looks the wrong way or a sheep runs off into the mist.

Dartmoor Wood

I sell quite a few prints from local galleries and occasionally to magazines to illustrate articles on photography.

I currently use a Canon 400d with a 28-135 IS USM lens.

All my photos are taken from my car window or wheelchair and I will be 70 this year. If I can do it so can you. So, get out there, be bold and “snap” away.

More of my work can be seen at www.geoffpowellphotos.co.uk

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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