When I was in my teens and needed a place of escape, the ruins of Windwhistle was just the spot. It sits to the east of Totnes, looks over the River Dart, and back then seemed to take forever to get to. Turns out now I am in my forties, it's only a twenty-minute walk from my front door. 
 It was used as an outpost for Totnes during the Napoleonic wars, so it has been around a few years. 
 Thirty years later and living in a different town, I thought it was about time I returned to photograph the ruins during sundown. If I time it right, there will be a backdrop of the setting sun over Totnes. 
 
 I ditch my car in the local farmyard, avoid an electric fence and then proceed through three fields of the noisiest sheep I have ever met, “ Baa-ram-ewe”. 
 Arriving at the ruins, I have two shots in mind, a warm shot and a cool shot, both with the ruins in the foreground but shot on either side of the setting sun. Before sunset is the warm shot and then after sunset being the cool shot. This is one of the many reasons I love photography, the same location can look so different only twenty minutes apart because of light and colour. 
 Before the sun drops below the horizon, I set up for the warm shot. Positioning the ruins to the left of the frame, stopping my aperture down to f18 and exposing for the foreground with a shutter speed of 1/4th of a second. Because the sky is too bright I slip on a soft graduated neutral density filter to balance the exposure between foreground and sky. With my point of focus on the ruins, I press the shutter button. A half-decent shot with warm rays of sun falling onto the ruins. 
 For the next twenty minutes, I sit back, relax, watch the sun disappear below the horizon and not only see the sky turn cooler in colour but feel the temperature cool too. 
 Before I completely lose all the warmth in the sky, I set up for the cooler shot, this time positioning the ruins to the right of the frame and changing my shutter speed to 1/10th of a second, again with my point of focus on the ruins I press the shutter button. This time a cooler scene with some funky clouds and a warm horizon. 
 Happy with the two shots, I pack up my gear and head back across the fields towards the car. 
 Zzzzzztt… ouch, I made it back to the car in complete darkness but forgot about that electric fence.



Photos

Sebastian Bevan

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