This was the first of four consecutive sunrise shoots on Dartmoor in Devon and what an absolute beauty it was. I’ve photographed this distinctive lone tree in most weather conditions over the seasons and was hoping for mist which was only just visible in the valley. I first notice the Scottish Pine while driving across the moors and was attracted to the way it seemed to be bowing over the valley as though it was welcoming a new day.
Arriving in good time 20 minutes before first light, I set up quickly. The tripod legs seemed to be in the exact position as the previous shoot after recognising the rocks and grass trench behind me next to the path. The colours in the sky appeared almost immediately so I practised a few shots at f/11 finding I required a 3 stop soft graduated neutral density Lee filter to balance the exposure. There was a slight breeze but the foreground ferns and gorse bushes were very still so I selected an iso160 to give a 2.5 second exposure. The sky took approximately 10 minutes to develop into this otherworldly vivid coloured landscape tinting the dense foreground ferns red. It was my best shoot in that location so far but I knew it wouldn’t be the last.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor