I was planning, given the forecast of cloud and sun to shoot a viewpoint near Moretonhampstead for the sunset but a luck would have it Neil Porter contacted me via the interweb and asked if I was interested in coming along to Kennick Reservoir. Typically I had to do some chores first and we quickly raced around the supermarket.
Neil picked me up at 7.30 and we made our way up to the reservoir. We had a quick look at the water and a little wind was on the water making the reflections hazy but closer to the dam side it was very still. As we walked around to the dam edge we noticed a ‘Tog’ camped in the corner plugged into his music. We said a polite hello, small chit-chat and wandered off to find another spot. We found out he had found the best spot as we walked back and introduced ourselves a bit more. Small world this hobby! It was Lloyd Cosway of Devonshots.com. He recognised Neil and they started to chat and I introduced myself as well. The came along Mark Lakeman as we chatted the midges started eating us with a vengeance as we covered up in our jackets even though it was quite warm.
Neil shouted as the light from stage left shone on the rhododendrons. By this time the water was very still and the reflections were fantastic. I noticed Mark had gone to take some panoramas and that gave me the same idea. I shot a few zoomed close up of the far bank but then decided to do some landscape and portrait shots to stitch for a panorama. I had not used the circ pol for 2 reasons. As the cloud formations and colours were really quite nice I wanted to include them in the composition and with a panorama the polariser would have made the sky to uneven but also it would have dulled the reflections on the water which as it was so still would have been a shame. I used a 3 stop hard grad to bring down the sky to a level that matched the water so it would looked like a true mirror effect and this seemed to work well in live view.
I used f/8 when shooting. Whilst >f/8 would have given more depth of field I wanted a little softness in the background so the rhododendrons stood out more ad given also the lens I was using is prob most sharp at f/8 too. Unfortunately I had forgotten to shift the ISO setting from auto to ISO 100. ISO 100 generally gives you the least noise and highest dynamic range in the resulting RAW but I only discovered this when I got home. However I was lucky that the camera generally limits the shot to max ISO 400 and the result were still great – phew!
As the light went we packed up but Mark stayed on and was lucky enough to see the mist roll in so will be interesting to see his shots. We moved up to another location to scout for new shots that I knew f but the weather closed in on us but one for another day certainly. When I got home Lloyd had sent me an email via my website as he had not twigged who I was at the time AKA Foxyrider LOL – again small world! All in all a great trip out with some nice banter and an unexpected reward.