[dropcap1]G[/dropcap1]iven how early sunrise is at the moment, it’s a tough one to do during the working week. I decided to shoot Saturday morning after a conversation with my Tog fiend Alan Howe and an improvement in the weather forecast for the morning. I pack my bags and get my clothes ready so I can leave quickly and gives me time to sort my composition.
It’s only a 20 min drive to Houndtor car park. As I walked over Houndtor there was a nice red hue developing on the horizon despite the heavy cloud. I struggled to get a good composition. There were nice patches of bluebells but there was bracken and gorse in the way. The sunrise was a little muted and I tried capturing with and without a grad just to see the difference too. It’s tricky to remove the grad line sometimes so was looking for alternatives however the grads do enhance the sunrise colours so double-edged sword. I always shoot landscapes at ISO 100 on the 5dII and if I can f/8-f/11 for optimal sharpness / DOF balance. The rest is down the shutter speed and a sturdy tripod (after turning the IS off on any lenses I have – although the 24-105mm lens IS is supposed to have a built in tripod sensor?). The rest is down to mother nature and the elements. ATM I am shooting with magic lantern software which allows me more control of the camera to a level similar to the new Canon 5D MKIII. I shoot 3-7 1 to 1.5 .ev shots in succession and then I can layer blend 2 or 3 exposure together if needed. only the into sun shots really need blending and todays shots were processed as one image in Lightroom or 2 shots blended as the sun mas quite muted. I’ve also just got myself a hotshoe level as I’m sometime a bit off on my levels when on a slope etc – only £5 from a famous online store who doesn’t pay much business tax….
The sun rose and some lovely shard of red light were emitted from a huge red orb and was lovely to see but more subtle to capture. Eventually as I made my way closer to the rocks I eventually got a composition that I liked with some granite and hawthorn tree in the foreground and I was happy that I had got something in reward for the 3.30am rise.
I decided to move on to Emsworthy Barn to grab the bluebells in the early light hoping it would be deserted but no; after the 5 mins drive to Saddle Tor car park I realised I was not alone. Two togs were already there, one I knew, Gary Miller the other a Tog all the way from Somerset Esen Tumar. We had a chat, whiling away a few minutes as the sun had disappeared behind the cloud, which earlier was useful! Eventually it emerged and we dispersed getting our own POV’s after first herding away some young Belted Galloways – LOL. Bluebells are tricky to shoot with a wide-angle as the flowers seem to small but if you get too close the DOF drops away or you have a blurred foreground. Jacking up the f/stop helps but you get to a point were refraction destroys the sharpness of the image – again you have to get a happy medium. The use of a hard grad over the trees just reduced the brightness of the sky and makes the trees look as if they are in true shadow which I like. All in all a great mornings shooting with some reasonable captures.