A new year, a new project, and getting back to blogging

The arrival in my mailbox of WordPress’s Year in Review prompted me to reflect on what has been a very patchy year of blogging. When I first started Focused Moments, back in April 2012, I wrote a new post every day, and kept that up for the best part of a year. But, during 2014, the flow of posts somehow dwindled, and dwindled… 2014 was a year with challenges, but that’s no excuse.  There’s no point in promising to do better; you’ve heard it all before. I should just get on and do it; less talk more action!  After all, WordPress is a great platform, and some recent enquiries and sales have reminded me that it is also one that does every well in search rankings. So, time to get back on that horse.
To start with, I am beginning a project 365. After I completed the usual one-new-image-a-day project back in 2009, I swore I’d never do it again. But this is going to be different. I don’t need motivation to go out and take new images; I can hardly help myself. But I have a massive, sadly disorganised and neglected back catalogue. So I am going to post a ‘this day x years ago’ image every day this year, and it has to be a new edit or an image never before shared.  Not only will I be forced to trawl through those forgotten pictures, I will also be forced to log in and do something on Focused Moments. And, once I’m here, I might as well post new stuff too. We’ll see.

national park

Dartmoor National Park 365/1

Anyway, here’s image 365/1, from a bracing New Year’s Day 2013 spent exploring Dartmoor National Park. I’d love to spend more time in this atmospheric location. I have a couple of windows of opportunity for exploring more of the UK this year and Dartmoor, with its windy tors and lonely, tortured trees, is definitely on the shortlist.



f/14, 1/24, ISO 400, 18mm

Hundatora is a ruined medieval village near Hound Tor on Dartmoor. It is likely it was abandoned either because of deteriorating climate conditions or the Black Death (bubonic plague). Somehow it seemed to me to suit a slightly brooding, black and white treatment.

Dartmoor at dusk

Devon, UK

Sunset over Dartmoor National Park

Yesterday, I shared an image I took on New Year’s Day at Dartmoor National Park.  Despite having lived in this country for most of my life, I am ashamed to say this was my first visit to the Park.  I will be back!

Devon, UK

Haytor, Dartmoor

We hiked to two of the many rocky outcrops, known as ‘tors’, Haytor and Hound Tor, the latter thought to be the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventure, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Devon, UK

Hound Tor, Dartmoor

I left my trusty Canon 5Diii at home and took instead the Sony NEX-7 I was testing.  A compact system camera packing a whopping 24 megapixel sensor, it is a fraction of the size and weight of my DSLR and made a far less demanding hiking companion.  But there are compromises, both in terms of ease of use and image quality.  Although you cannot see at this size, these images, all taken at ISO 400 are far noisier than my DSLR would have taken.  More tomorrow.

The tenth day of Christmas; oh, to heck with it!


Dartmoor on New Year’s Day

Well, I suppose I could come up with some tenuous link between today’s post and Christmas, if I tried really hard.  But, instead, I thought I’d share this shot taken in Dartmoor National Park on New Year’s Day.  This is for you, Gunta. 😉

While we were away, I rented a new camera, the Sony NEX-7 from the good folk at hireacamera.com.  I need a lightweight alternative to my big brick for hiking but I want to try before I buy.  Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the images I took and my impressions of this high-end compact system camera.