There are very few places that are more exposed to the elements on Dartmoor than Combestone Tor near Hexworthy where this mound of granite boulders and wind blown tree can be found.
Combestone Tor must have the 'privilege' of being the most accessible tor on Dartmoor, it is literally about 70 metres from a car park. It does also command some superb views of the Dart Valley which drops down 130 odd metres to the river below. Visit on a windy day and you will hear the famous 'cry of the dart' as the waters crash through the rocky defile. But the tor does have a few more attributes for the moor inquisitive. Firstly, for the geologically minded the tor displays the effects of jointing and the effects of erosion which are all part of the tor formation on Dartmoor. The actual summit of the main outcrop is studded with forming, formed and unforming rock basins which were the one-time Druidical ceremonial basins. Not only were the sacred 'basins' for Druidical purposes but they may serve as a washing place for the piskies who are said to live in a small combe on the side of the tor. It is said that on still nights you can hear the music from their revels wafting up the slopes to the tor. At one time this tor would have been in an remote area between Holne and Hexworthy but the road soon changed that.
Critiques | Translate
daddo (25429) 2014-04-21 2:03
Hi Leslie.A striking composition where the B&W treatment accentuates the moving clouds and makes the sky dynamic. When the tree is added to the format, one gets a feeling as if the whole world is shifting to the left- apart from the obstinate sentinels. Regards. Klaudio.
snunney (88246) 2014-04-21 2:34
The dramatic atmosphere heightened by the use of black and white is quite palpable. The composition is excellent with the sparse moorland tree hanging over the rocks like a witch. Excellent photography indeed, I take my hat off to you.
timecapturer (49288) 2014-04-21 2:39
another cracking monochrome interpretation of the wonders of Dartmoor. Love the simple yet compelling elements here and the drama that the sky imparts to this beautiful presentation. Love it!
Have a good week - B.
carlo62 (37153) 2014-04-21 2:48
bellissima composizione e ottima scelta del b&w, una combinazione vincente.
marabu61 (9205) 2014-04-21 4:33
Suberbly dramatic black and white shot of the Dartmoor indeed. The lonely tree, the stone wall, the dramatic sky with some visible movement in it, there are all the elements needed to create a moody and characterful shot. This is a true work of art.
have a great day
tyro (21558) 2014-04-21 4:39
This is a delightful and very striking photograph and you have given us an interesting and informative note to accompany it.
I wish I knew how you manage to produce such very dramatic skies in black and white - do you use a polariser to accentuate the clouds/sky and do you then do some clever things with the colours before you do a black and white conversion? Or perhaps that's a family secret! :o)
But that glorious sky is surely the "star of the show" in this picture and the lone tree leads the eye right to it. The light on the rocks is wonderful too. All perfectly managed with good composition, perfect exposure and exquisite details and clarity.
Sergiom (65111) 2014-04-21 5:12
La photo originale devait déjà être très jolie, mais le post traitement la rend spectaculaire. Un point de vue très bas qui donne de la profondeur et un noir et blanc qui donne toute une texture aux nuages.
SnapRJW (31625) 2014-04-21 8:16
So beautiful Les. Full of movement provided by the clouds and bent Hawthorne, the landscape looks eternal.
I thought you might like this poem!
We walked up a narrow lane with mossy walls, the hairy one and me,
And when we ventured onto the moor, we were feeling free,
Our footprints take us up the heather clad slope towards the granite Tor,
And a sharp intake of breath the view the view stretching out over the moor.
The weathered granite rocks, assumed strange shapes, which framed the vista of our view,
We sat down on the rocks which was furniture for us, in order to have our brew,
A cup for me, a billycan for the dog, for the way ahead needs to be steady,
The primus makes a hissing sound as we wait for our brew to be ready,
A biting wind assailed us as we left the Tor, to thread our way down the well worn path,
Following the course of a leat, where an ancient stone cross emerges from the grass,
With the wonder, magic and mystery of the cross and why the cross was there,
The cross is leaning so we pause, then stop for a few moments to wonder and to stare,
We were on our way once more passing a low cliff with the hairy one racing ahead,
In and out of the bracken, back and forth, my canine friends hurried lead,
The Dartmoor ponies ignore us the sheep don’t want to know,
We were in a different place, a different world, as onward we did go.
We turn our direction unto the west towards the tannery town of Tavistock below,
Off the moor, narrow lanes lined with mossy stone walls, descending as we go,
This walk, these many miles, has left our bodies gently aching feeling tired,
While our souls they seem to feel refreshed, uplifted and inspired.
JanArie (619) 2014-04-21 11:04
nice, like the black-white photo, makes it mysterious
cornejo (34626) 2014-04-21 12:06
Hi Les, very good picture of this beautiful and interesting composition in black and white. Very well captured in this beautiful image with good sharpness and nice light. Excellent and interesting job well done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good evening and happy start to the week.
Warm greetings from southern Spain.
lousat (80995) 2014-04-21 14:45
Waaw Les,your black and white postprocessed over the limits are truly fantastics,and this is another great great example,absolutely beautiful,you are brave to post things like this,but this is a work of a great artist like you,magnificent work! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
kathryn_weir (2056) 2014-04-22 5:39
Good evening Les,
An amazing shot you have presented which works beautifully in mono. There is a great sense of drama conveyed in that sky with the sentinel tree obstinately standing against the relentless elements. Your informative notes add a sense of the mystical and wonder - I like the bit about the pixies :)
Everything truly comes together in this one - the detail, the composition, the sharpness - all demonstrate your skill.
Have a great week
Waylim (25368) 2014-04-22 13:40
Excellent image. I love how the lone tree and the clouds seem to be mimicing one another in the same kind of shape and form. the clouds really make this composition works even better than a clear day. The tree stand out more against the white background. B&W is a classic presentation.
Kamilutka (8103) 2014-04-25 5:00
now this is a real cracker! Everything in here looks like it has been placed in the image for one reason: the enhance the drama. The sky with its clouds running across makes the picture truly unforgettable and the contrast given so masterly only increases the impression. The single tree with its benches bending under the strong wind creates strong point of interest in the right corner and the stone wall makes the composition more complex.
Very well executed and presented!
Glint (6171) 2014-04-26 11:15
a fabulous photograph. Excellent composition using the rule of thirds, with the tree sitting perfectly. The tree seems tortured by the gales that must blow here as evidenced by the dramatic clouds. Wonderfully luminous.
delpeoples (54425) 2014-04-27 1:34
Hello dear Les
Oooh this one's a beauty. I saw Gladys' photo of the Tors yesterday, and this one, a wide angle POV completes the series well, with Gladys' photo it gives us a great idea of the layout of these spooky stones. The place looked like a natural Stonehenge and with that wild sky and blown away tree, creates a very spooky atmosphere. I can imagine Conan Doyle's hounds of the Baskervilles roaming freely around here and causing havoc. A wonderful B&W shot, well done.
macjake (59902) 2014-04-27 13:15
very cool indeed!
that tree on the right is the highlight for me, and the clouds come in at a close second.
dramatic sky, effective black and white make it a winner.
sevy (15367) 2014-05-12 5:08
Nice B&W picture with the main elements on ground, well placed against the sky in order we can take advantage of their silhouettes.
adores (39808) 2014-05-31 10:30
This is a really beautiful b&w! I like the place and those clouds are just wonderful and add so much to the compsoition. Very good conversion, with a good contrast. Great work!
romanaa (7966) 2014-06-22 0:08
Hi Leaslie again,
your BW pictures make me reconsider my own choices of colour and BW... I have never thought about converting the landscapes into BW... but thus shot of yours is really stunning.
- Copyright: Leslie Bennett (williewhistler) (15229)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2014-04-19
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: NikonD300s, 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX
- Exposure: f/22, 1/40 seconds
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): My Mono [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2014-04-21 1:50
- Favorites: 1 [view]