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John Baker

Dartmoor Astro Grand Tour Take II

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A couple months back I was keen to try to get a number of astro locations in one night and managed to capture 4 locations before I was thwarted by the cloud and rain.  Last Thursday I was up on Dartmoor and the conditions started to develop nicely, so I decided to give it another go and managed to do slightly better…

  1. Venford Reservoir – nice views down the lake towards the Galactic Core to the South West and the Milky Way to the North East.
  2. Combestone Tor – this is a great and easily accessible location with a very convenient car park. Great views of the granite outcrop and the wonderfully shaped Hawthorn Trees.

  3. Huccaby or Hexworthy Bridge – The sky was clearing by the time I was down on the River Dart, it was not easy to get a clear shot of the Milky Way over the bridge due to the trees and really needing to be standing in the River, but I managed the shot.

  4. Dartmeet – at the confluence of the East and West River Dart’s.  Not that simple a location at night as getting a view of the ancient clapper bridge is not easy, due to the angle of the shoreline and slippery rocks.

  5. Leusdon Common, near Poundsgate – there are a pair of memorial stones I have wanted to get for a while, the Silver Jubilee stone was erected in 1997 and the Diamond Jubilee stone from 2012. I was pleased to be able to work the angles on the stones and get the shots I was afer.

  6. Postbridge – I have tried to shoot the old clapper bridge before without great success, thankfully I was able to get images from both sides of the river and include the road bridge in the shots.

  7. Bennett's Cross – continuing along the A381 I thought I would make my final stop Bennett's Cross.

It turned out to be one of those magical evenings and I wish I could have kept on going, but I was feeling tired and weary towards the end, I finally got home at 4:00 in the morning…

Venford Reservoir

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Combestone Tor

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Huccaby or Hexworthy Bridge

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Dartmeet

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Leusdon Common

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Postbridge

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Bennett's Cross

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The above are a couple of the shots taken over the 7 hour trip :)

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Another fantastic set of images. I made it over to Brent Tor earlier this year (I take it the photogenic church is known to you?), hopefully I'll find the time to explore Dartmoor next year.

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1 hour ago, Knight of Clear Skies said:

Another fantastic set of images. I made it over to Brent Tor earlier this year (I take it the photogenic church is known to you?), hopefully I'll find the time to explore Dartmoor next year.

I know Brentor very well, it's not the easiest location due to its height and the glow of Plymouth to the South, but as a location it is stunning.

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i also like Wheal Betsy the lead mine close to Tavistock...

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I am think of coming down to Minions tonight, to do Wheal Phoenix/Edward, Hurlers, Cheesewring and possibly Trethevy Quoite do you think it would work? What would the light pollution be like?

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Great captures, I thought you probably would know Brent Tor.

24 minutes ago, John Baker said:

I am think of coming down to Minions tonight, to do Wheal Phoenix/Edward, Hurlers, Cheesewring and possibly Trethevy Quoite do you think it would work? What would the light pollution be like?

Bodmin moor is very dark, it's just been awarded Dark Sky Landscape status by the IDA. However, around Minions there are some local light domes from St Cleer, Liskeard and the Caradon Hill TV mast, not really a problem for people imaging up the sky but they do intrude in landscape shots. The best shots will be obtained when the Milky Way runs across the Moor. I took this shot of the Hurlers in February, this version hasn't been cleaned up:

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(Canon 700D, Samyang 14mm f2.8, 30 seconds at ISO 3200.)

You might also find this album useful, it shows the light domes at a few locations around the Moor. Each shot is 30 seconds at ISO 800 with the same lens but when I got home I found they were too dark, +0.67 brightness adjustment - I think this makes them equivalent to ISO 1,330.

Hope that's some help.

Edited by Knight of Clear Skies
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Stunning set of night time landscapes.  Beautifully composed.

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7 hours ago, Daniel-K said:

really like the bennets cross . looks like you got some nice air glow too.

Hopefully one day I will get some aurora, but yet to be out at the same time and I am a long way south :)

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