Aerial Photograph of the Exe Estuary, Devon

March 25th, 2010
Aerial Art: The Exe Estuary © Tim Pestridge

Aerial Art: The Exe Estuary © Tim Pestridge

I’ve seen a lot of aerial photography, and it seems to fall into two categories. The most common is the ‘quick and dirty’ shots taken from a spotter plane of people’s houses. And often, it’s not that nice. And the guys that sell it are hard-nosed sales guys who stick to your doorstep until you’ve handed over your cash. Well, I’m hoping you’ll spot the difference with my approach. Being based right next to the Exe Estuary, and having lived and worked around the area of the Exe Estuary for many years now, I’ve always thought it a shame that we don’t have a simple reminder of our proximity to this fantastic stretch of water, leading out into the coast and beyond. We don’t have a view of the estuary, so it’d be great to have beautifully photographed print depicting the water, whether you’re into boats, sailing or just great landscapes, the estuary is something to be celebrated and enjoyed, and perhaps viewed and appreciated in a new light.

Personally, I wanted a daily reminder that I live and work in a stunning part of the UK. Because frankly we all forget this – when we’re facing driving around the area in the rush hour, or trying to park in Exeter in the rain, or just for the sake of being reminded of how lucky I am to live near the sea. With this is mind, and with the thought that others may appreciate my idea, I planned out an aerial photoshoot project, to include a 4000ft+ flight over the estuary to capture the view.

The timing with the weather, tide, and time of day was critical, but we got it just right. With only a single lens allowed up in the aircraft for safety reasons, I had to pick carefully to assure I could capture the highest quality image possible to allow for very large prints to be made. We flew from East Devon, allowing me to shoot aerial photographs of Honiton from the air, as well as Budleigh Salterton, Exeter airport and Exmouth. But I was on a mission to get to the estuary. One thing that turned my stomach was as we flew over Woodbury Common, the pilot warned me to hang on, as the thermals rising from the dark brown bracken could cause turbulance – which it certainly did! Woah. Hold on tight.

So, clearly visible in the print (at its full resolution) are the towns, villages and places surrounding the estuary; you can see in the foreground the sand bank of Dawlish Warren, and up to Cockwood, then Starcross, Powderham, Kenton, Exminster, and on to Exeter in the distance. The Turf Lock Hotel with the canal and boats can be seen on the left. Coming round to the right you can see Topsham, Exton, Lympstone, and Exmouth. It was superb to see the estuary from the air, but it wasn’t until the pilot and I were actually flying out across the sea that I was really hit by the stunning colours created by the estuary as it flowed from Exeter down past Dawlish Warren, creating swirls of turquoise, emerald blues and streaks of deep aquamarine as it reaches the mouth of the sea.

Close-up of Exe Estuary print by Tim Pestridge

Close-up of Exe Estuary print by Tim Pestridge

I suspect these low resolution samples on the left/right here aren’t sharp enough to appreciate the colours, detail and quality of this print – you need to see it for real! Do drop us an email via the contact form if you’d like more details on purchasing this print, or to look at the other prints taken of the estuary, Topsham, Exmouth, Dawlish Warren, Dawlish, Exminster, Budliegh Salterton or Honiton.

Here’s a PDF depicting the Exe Estuary print in a home situation: estuary-home

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