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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Ot Moor and Sunset Photography

I first found out about Ot Moor from an Ordnance Survey map of Oxford around 40 years ago. It was unusual in that it had no contour lines.and was crossed by a number of bridle paths so I could legally ride my bike. Somehow, I never seemed to get there.

The Romans had chosen Ot Moor for part of their Dorchester-on-Thames to Bicester road project and in 1980, the government decided it would be a good precedent and planned for the M40 to cross it. The "Friends of the Earth" disagreed, bought a vital piece of land and sold it off in small parcels to 3500 supporters making the process of compulsory purchase by the government an administrative nightmare. The government retreated and changed the law to prevent future stunts of this type.

On Saturday, I got there!  I was on the way to a dance, the sun was out and I diverted to Oddington and walked to the centre of Ot Moor where a bridleway cross roads is celebrated

Like many flat places, it's wet with lots of slow moving watercourses  that wander around rather than do the conventional spring-stream-river-sea thing.
Bridleway crossing the water

Some parts are just flooded
It was the sky that offered most to the photographer

 I've always tried my luck photographing sunsets and my Panasonic Lumix TZ20 even has a "Scene mode" for sunsets (but not sunrises). Sure enough, this yielded a spectacular "sky on fire" picture but as I compared the image on the LCD with what I could see in front of me, I was dissatisfied - the contrasting blue streaks in the sky were washed out. So I used the exposure override to stop down and got a more true to life result than the program wanted

What the camera wanted ISO100 F5.1 1/30

ISO100 F5.1 1/60 is more realistic

Reflection of the sky in a flooded field

The moor itself is uninhabited but its surrounded by villages such as Charlton on Otmoor

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