Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Morning with the Exmoor Ponies

As I am a huge animal, nature and wildlife lover, the beautiful herds of wild Exmoor ponies were definitely what I was looking forward to the most on our holiday in the National Park. The ponies are an iconic part of Exmoor's landscape and we came just at the right time of year to see all of the foals as well, adorable!

A couple of days before our trip I was lucky enough to get a brand new camera as a 21st birthday present, and so was very exited to try it out on our holiday. And my luck was in as when we were exploring the tiny town of Porlock we came across the Exmoor Photography shop. The shop was full of stunning photography from Exmoor and after having a chat with the owners we discovered that they ran full day and half day photography courses in the National Park.

So myself and my dad, who's also into his photography, signed up for a half day course and I cannot recommend them enough, I had an absolutely amazing morning and learnt so much about my camera as well as the ponies. The course was run by Jack, an amazing photographer who was so lovely, helpful and informative. He helped me get off the "dreaded auto mode" on my camera and explained shutter speed, aperture, exposure, ISO and many, many other things which would help me get the best out of my camera and take the best pictures I can! If you're ever in Exmoor this is an amazing thing to do if you've got a new camera and want to learn about the settings and how to take better pictures. And where better to be taking pictures than in a stunning place like Exmoor?! I could waffle on about how good I thought they were forever, but instead I'll just leave you the link to their website in case you're interested:

On the full day courses you get taken to five picturesque locations, but as we were just on the morning course we just had time to go to one. And of course, being the obsessive wildlife lover I am, I chose to go and get up close to some wild ponies! After all, they were the main thing I wanted to see during our time in Exmoor!

After getting to grips with our cameras and driving round the moorland for a little while we soon spotted a herd of ponies. We parked up and being very careful not to disturb or spook them we manged to get pretty close. We began to be able to pick out family groups - mothers with last years and this years foals. It was amazing to be able to be so near to them, watching and observing their behavior for a good hour and a half, and of course getting some amazing photos of them. Here are some of my favourites! 

A few red deer decided to pay us a visit too!

The foals galloping and playing was one of my favourite things to watch. Too cute!

I had an absolutely magical morning watching and photographing these guys. I feel very honoured to have got so close to such beautiful wild animals. Cannot thank the guys at Exmoor Photography enough for an amazing experience with the ponies and well as helping me so much with my camera skills.

Thanks for reading!

Chloe xox

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