grazing horses Abbey dore

Abbey Dore Quintessential Herefordshire

It was my last weekend in the West Midlands and I fancied my last trip into Herefordshire.  I chose Abbey Dore as the AA guide said it was quintessential Herefordshire, I had fallen in love with Herefordshire, so time to take one walk and some of my last landscape photographs around Abbey Dore.

Towards Ewyas Harold Common

Plenty of roadside parking available by the abbey, took a look inside the church grounds first and then made my way up the hill towards Ewyas Harold Common.

grazing horses Abbey dore
grazing horses Abbey dore 1/13 sec, ISO 100, f/13, 50mm

Looking back over Abbey Dore with the horses in the foreground, yeah I would say that looks like quintessential Herefordshire.

Lost in Abbey Dore

Even the AA guide warns you about all the criss crossing paths on Ewyas Harold common, I got hopelessly lost countless times.   For sure I am an expert at getting lost using these AA guides.  My saving grace is my watch compass and the Ordnance Survey online maps, assuming you can get a good GPS signal and internet connection to stream the map data.

Eventually I get my bearings and make it up onto some lovely meadows with buttercups and great views across to the Black Hills.

buttercup meadow black hill
buttercup meadow black hill 1/20 sec, f/13, ISO 100, 24mm

Around Dulas Court after taking some nice landscape photos of another buttercup meadow you enter a small forest which should have a clear exit, but it no longer exists.

Dulas Herefordshire
Dulas Herefordshire 1/10 sec, f/11 ISO 100, 24mm

I walked around and round again, but nowhere to be found.  Eventually I had to climb over a fence a make my way across to Cot farm and again had difficulty finding the right path taking me back to Ewyas Harold Common.  All very frustrating, the problem with these guides are they are at least a few years old, and things change on the ground.

ewyas harold common horse
ewyas harold common horse 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200, 145mm

Back on Ewyas Harold Common and there are some wild horses, took an over exposed hand held shot of one shy wild horse, which I quite like, the thing to remember with animals or people( same thing) is to focus directly on the eyes.

Camera settings in the Field

When I switch from landscape photography using a tripod to handheld photography of nature I have to remember to:

  1. Put by lens image stabilisation back on.
  2. Put ISO onto Auto
  3. Change my aperture back down to its lowest F/3.5
  4. Take exposure timing off 2 second delay and onto single shot

When out taking landscape photos I always leave white balance on daylight as shoot in raw and can change this in Lightroom post processing although I rarely have too.  I always shoot in aperture priority mode occasionally switching to manual mode in low light conditions.  I also need to check that my metering mode is on matrix or evaluative.  Its worth checking your settings every few shots or so because if one of these is wrong then you may just be wasting your valuable time, if getting lost is not enough, dont want to add insult to injury.

Bulls in the Field

Out of the other side of Ewyas Harold Common and I was heading to Riverdale and along the river Dore.  There is a footpath you have to take with a warning of bulls in the field.  And there were a few of them, not at the other side of the field, but standing directly in front of the exit path.  I was so near my car in Abbey Dore decided to call it a day, after getting lost over 5 times in this part of quintessential Herefordshire.  Not a perfect ending to a beautiful part of the English countryside.

Abbey Dore Herefordshire