I’ve been photographing Castle Dyke, near Ashcombe, Devon, for a couple of years. It is a ‘slight univallate hill fort’ believed to date to the iron age. I have now lost count of how many visits I have made, no doubt because my house lies barely a mile away from it, but also because it has a ‘pull’ that I cannot resist. This kind of hill fort is relatively uncommon nationwide, but not in Devon. It is quite wide, but not spectacular, and I do wonder how many people continue to walk near it (perhaps even through it) without knowing what it is.
I will at some point publish many more images of the site, but I am writing this initial blog piece to share how magical this place can be on a slightly misty morning, very soon after the Autumn Equinox. I wandered around for two hours with the place to myself, making ‘straight’ exposures as well as several multiple-exposures, which this place lends itself to very willingly. I am not attempting here to record the look of the land, but the feel of the place: the gentle early shift of leaf tones from yellow-green to the subtlest amber; the blue early morning light starting to warm a little; the webs absolutely everywhere, clinging to all they can. There is no intense sharpness to any of these images, no deep blacks or stark contrasts, because in reality a misty Autumn morning contains none of those things. I walked around in a kind of bright but hazy, web-filled trance, and my two hours flashed by in seconds as I obsessed over what to include, and whether I could exclude anything. This place.