Blesma’s Activities Team supports Blesma Members who want to organise Local Activities for fellow Members. This February two of our members organised an opportunity for a get-together in the South West to practice photography.
Blesma Members met at the Premier Inn in Exeter which would be their base and over that nights evening meal the exciting programme for the next couple of days was laid out.
Here is a short account of their trip:
It was a crisp winter’s morning for our visit to the Clifton Suspension Bridge where all 8 members took the opportunity to capture images of this iconic landmark. We moved along to the observatory and continue taking photos.
Next, we then returned to the bus and continued to onto SS Great Britain where we received a warm welcome from BSO Steve Fraser and enjoyed lunch in the SS Great Britain Café. The afternoon was spent touring SS Great Britain which was well adapted for disabled access across all three decks.
During the evening members took part in an editing session and informal Q&A on all aspects of photography. Members were encouraged to bring their laptops for colour calibration by Parm and Kirsty.
An early start saw the group heading to Dartmoor in -3°C! After travelling along some icy roads we arrived at a lay-by at the beginning of the Moor (North Bovey).
In the Arctic temperatures and a brisk wind all Members left the bus in high spirits. Our group increased by four when we were joined by four wandering Dartmoor ponies!
Up here we mainly focused on photographing the snowy landscape but also made time to shoot the local wildlife (crows, sheep, ponies). After an hour and a half – cold, but satisfied the group moved to Bovey Castle Hotel for a pre-arranged coffee break which proved to be a great warmer and offered a beautiful photo opportunity to capture the perfectly manicured landscape and iconic building.
After a short break we moved on to other sections of the Moor. Post Bridge, the oldest stone bridge on Dartmoor, proved to add variation to the day as we were able to photograph moving water and birds. This was a perfect location to practice and learn more – including long exposure photography.
A very relaxing time passed, we then drove around the foreboding exterior of Dartmoor Prison and then took a leisurely drive back to Exeter. After an hour of downtime we all met at our reserved table in Brewers Fayre pub. Here we had a productive feedback session culminating with the Members sharing and discussing the day’s events.
Everyone then headed off to bed after a successful and exhausting day.
The general consensus of opinion from Blesma Members was that they would be very keen to attend other events organised by Members in various parts of the country. Along with the photography, Members also commented on the social aspect and the camaraderie of the event. By the end of the event all Members had exchanged numbers and emails to continue to keep in touch.
Written by Mike Williams and the other participants.
“Well organised few days. Premier Inn – excellent venue. All very helpful. Parm and Kirsty very helpful and always eager to sort things out (I needed it!) Mike Williams and Alan Long organised things well. Nothing seemed to come as a surprise.”
Header photo by Kirsty Verdi