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Sunday 20th March - Stock Gaylard Deer Park (and bonus evening family shoot)

Do you ever commit to something and then half way through get the overwhelming urge to just pack it in and naff off home? That's kind of how I'm feeling at the moment with my blogging!


Not only is it the 2nd of September and I'm only writing about trips from March; I'm now having to find new and inventive ways of trying to pass off the images from mornings like this as something worth showing!


I've been doing this long enough that I know that not every photo trip will generate a portfolio-worthy image, however on every trip I seem to have to fight with my internal expectation that I'm going to get a portfolio-worthy image. The back of my camera screen is no help, as often the small screen and relatively high contrast display 'trick' me into thinking that, despite the conditions, I might have actually captured something worth keeping. It's often only after I edit the image and go to share it that the feelings of inadequacy kick in! I get over it quickly enough and I'm off on my next adventure; that is until 5 months down the line when I decide to blog about it and I reawaken all those negative thoughts! *this is a load of nonsense and my attempt at frivolity - in reality photography is a hobby, so the only lasting regret I tend to have is the early alarm!


The Stock Gaylard Estate is located not far from Sturminster Newton, and runs parallel with the A3030, a road I often take on my way into deepest Dorset. On this particular morning me and photo friend Simon were at a loss of where to go, so we thought we'd check out Lydlinch Common, a scrubby location that I'd only explored once, but had to abandon (bare foot) after a

hungry bog ate my trainers.


However, Lydlinch Common wasn't offering anything, so we scaled a stile into what turned out to be the Deer Park at Stock Gaylard, and set about exploring the great Oaks. By the way, photo friend Simon scaling a high stile is almost worth the 5am wake-up call in itself....


What happened next reads like some kind of perverse version of the Hungry Caterpillar...


On Sunday I tried to capture the first light hitting the trees, but it was still a crap photo

When that failed I tried to work with the shadows of the branches to see if that added interest to the scene, but it was still a crap photo

When that failed to work I tried to convert the shots to black and white, but it was still a crap photo...

When that failed to work I took a couple of pictures of some leaves, but it was still a...you get it by now.

After an hour of fruitless photography, it was time to go home, and following another round of photo friend Simon stile scaling , I wasn't feeling too disappointed.


On reflection, this area is probably best at sunset in Autumn, however, whether I'd want to visit when the Deer are at their strongest and randiest is different matter! (I should also say I don't really know if the public are allowed in this section - there were no signs saying Keep Out but at the same time I've never really seen anyone walking around here.)


Although the morning wasn't great for keeper images, I did pop out at sunset with my eldest to 'the tractor' I'd discovered a couple of weeks back and got some photos that will likely make the family album! I also spotted a new view of a familiar lone tree that was begging to be revisited....


I'm afraid the photography in the next blog isn't likely to be much better, but stick with me....

Ciao!










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