Thursday 8 December 2022

Westcountry Tweed Photographs

Thinking of a place to photograph the new Westcountry Tweed range at Blacker Yarns my first thought was to return to Wistman's Wood, which I last visited in the summer some two years ago. It seemed like it would be the perfect place - with the grey granite boulders, beautiful green mosses, rust-coloured bracken, and the mysterious lichen-covered twisted limbs of the tress.

As you will see it did not let me down. Wistman's Wood is one of the few high altitude oakwoods in Britain, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Last time we visited you could walk into the woodland, but there are now little signs asking that you walk around. It is such a special place, and even on a cold autumn day there were so many visitors walking up the hill to see it, that I think this is a good restriction.

My second idea was to try to photograph the wool on Dartmoor with some sheep in the background. I had really underestimated how hard this would be. To place the skeins of wool nicely in front of the sheep, who are pretty much free to roam did not work out at all. Apart from the sheep constantly running away, we also had an angry man accusing us of stealing the moss from his wall. I guess with my big bag full of wool and camera equipment I might have looked a bit suspicious. Is there really a market in moss?

So my next idea was to find some sheep in a field, where at least they would be contained. Even this was difficult, as when the sheep were fairly near, the foreshortening made them look very distant. This is actually a view across the Tamar Valley towards Kit Hill.

A second attempt near Brentor, where the sheep were a bit closer. I could not have got any of these shots without my lovely long-suffering husband hovering in the car, as I clambered across ditches and tried to balance the wool and camera in a suitable position, without scaring off the sheep.

But at the end of a long afternoon we finally found a "sheep super model". I realise I am now going to show rather too many photos, but I wanted to illustrate how this particular sheep was really interested in what I was up to, and started heading across the field to see. She also was a particularly fine looking sheep. She was so helpful that in the end I took a few photos focusing on her instead of the wool skeins.

"Did you get my good side?"

So now I just have to give some thought to the next wool, which contains bamboo. Can I get a panda to cooperate so nicely.

Sunday 4 December 2022