Devon County Show 2015

The Devon County Show is an annual event in Devon, where, for three days, a set of fields at Westpoint, near Exeter, become a showground and shopping area the size of a fairly impressive town centre. In theory, it’s an agricultural show, but there’s a lot more. There are tractors and traction engines, shops from all around the area, animals of all kinds – farm animals and pets – and a whole lot of food. There’s a fairground, ferret racing, falconry, and arts and crafts.

I went to two days of the 2015 show, once with Sam, and once with my colleagues as part of our Cult Pens 10th Anniversary celebrations. There’s enough to see to make it worth going twice. Entry doesn’t come cheap, but it’s well worth it.

We’ll start with a few of my favourite photos, then have some sets of photos of different parts of the show, including animals, tractors and traction engines, the people, and Titan the Robot.


Before we get to the main galleries, we’ll start with a few of the best photos – if you don’t want to look at them all, just have a look at these. If you like them, there are plenty more further down…

A pano of the front part of a Fordson tractor. Images stacked using Affinity Photo. I applied edits to some of the images using adjustment layers tied to the image layers. I’m impressed with Affinity Photo so far for this sort of thing.


The crowds attending this sort of event are always interesting to photograph, and the Devon County Show is more interesting than most. There’s an amazing variety of people there. Some are there dressed up in their finest, walking around the show along with people dressed in scruffy workwear, and others in sports or streetwear. It would be almost impossible to look out of place at the show. As ever, I was on the lookout for awesome hair, and there was plenty on show.

Ice cream truck at the Devon County Show. Lots of photos, all glommed together. I tried something different with the background for this one – using part of the image, faded and blurred, instad of a plain background.


There’s only a relatively small car show section at the County show – Mid Devon has (or had, last time we went) more – but it’s still a good chance for a few photos.

The front of an old Morgan three-wheeler.

Tractors and Traction Engines

At heart, the Devon County Show is an agricultural show, so there are plenty of tractors there. Unlike other shows we’ve been to, there were quite a lot of traction engines, too. My favourite of all these shots is the panograph I made of The Masterpiece. I used my Leica Elmar 135mm to take lots of photos, then stitched together around 50 shots using Affinity Photo:

A pano of The Masterpiece traction engine, at the Devon County Show. PanoEdit did it’s usual great job of stitching most of it together, but I wanted a rougher finish, with more of a hand-made look. I tried to do my usual trick of loading the result from PanoEdit with some of the source images into DoubleTake, but it hung while trying to work on it. I fell back on Pixelmator, but Pixelmator repeatedly crashed when I tried to apply a fill to the background layer. On a whim, I decided to have a try with Affinity Photo – it’s only in beta at the moment, but it worked perfectly. Quick and easy for dragging the images around, and no crashes or hangs at all. I’ve done a few more panos using it since, and it’s behaved really well. The source images were all taken with my NEX-6, using a Leica Elmar 135mm lens. I lost track of how many source photos I used, but there were 61 images I was working from, so it was probably at least 55 or so. Time taken – lost track of that too, but apart from the failed starts with DoubleTake and Pixelmator, it’s probably less than you’d think.

Lots of the engines were running, and driving around a central field, with engines on show all the way around.

See them, animals and birds, and Titan the Robot, on the next page – too many photos on one page makes some browsers cry, so follow on to page 2

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