I thought I’d post a blog about a recent trip to Hembury Woods considering my lack of blogging recently. Trouble is I am out with the camera more and more and so have less time to blog, taking more time to process my shots as well.
I had a good chat with Guy Richardson recently about my processing and composition. The long and short being; carry on but think out the box sometimes. Things are a bit clearer in my head and I think now is the time to start having fun with photography rather than just trying too hard to get a classic composition. Keep things natural and try to give the brain something to think about rather than being too obvious.
Now the autumnal leaves have been slow to change (prob will peak mid-end of November this year) however I do like the yellow transitions at present, giving the trees long-awaited colour from the homogeneous dark greens of summer. I thought I would do a recce back at Hembury Woods as the beeches there are wonderful and in a lovely setting on the River Dart. I left home with a forecast of broken cloud turning to a clear sky in the golden hour.
I wasn’t disappointed. The scene down there is one of my favourites with the beech branches leaning into the water. The light was perfect, not too low to be obscured by the peaks of the distant hills but low enough to cast nice shadows and the clouds intensifying the sunlight as it emerged from the breaks. There was a lot of organic foam on the water allowing for the sense of movement to be captured using a cpl and a 0.9 ev ND filter. I was trying to capture the essence of the light rather than the whole scene like I would normally do. Some late cloud rolled in and obscured the sun which was a shame.
As the sun dropped and the light faded I headed up to the hill-top and the sky was pretty featureless so I tried another composition with my 50mm and 100mm lenses to capture the side light. I also tried a new technique of shooing into the sun whilst holding my hand above the hood to reduce the flare (much more than I would do normally) and capture the sun coming through the distant trees perched on a small hillock. I could not easily see the LCD screen given how powerful the light was. I could just about focus and compose. It wasn’t until I got back that I noticed the light rays I had captured. Those unexpected shots are the best I reckon!