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Chasing away the blues

29th November 2015
The long dark nights, the dark wet days, the constant grey skies; it builds and depresses. Only one thing can clear it; I have give myself a good talking to and get out and take photos. There is no such thing as the bad light; only a bad mindset.

So on Saturday morning I got up 90 minutes before dawn, got dressed, had a cup of tea and set off to Swithland Reservoir to take a picture or two. I had something in mind but a landscape photographer has to be flexible and adapt to the situation. The water level was the lowest I have seen at this time of year and acres of mud was not what I had envisaged. The forecast said that we should expect a bald blue sky so I had to move on quickly and sort out a new location. A couple of possibles were checked out and again I had to move on.

I remembered a spot at Beacon Hill Crossroads near Woodhouse Eaves where I had made a picture a few years ago and knew it held other possibilities. I Parked the van a hundred yards or so from my last viewpoint and immediately liked what I saw but I could only see it from the vantage point of the van floor; if I got out there was a hedge in the way and no obvious access to the field that I could use before the sun came up. Only thing for it was to shoot while leaning out of the van using the top of the door as a support to steady the camera. Although the sun was not yet up the sky was bright from the fore-glow so the camera was set to bracket +/- one stop. I had also opted to use the Fuji with a 230mm zoom lens (circa 350mm in English money) in order to maximise detail so this was going to be quite a few bracketed frames - it ended up as being 15 exposures.

Each set of bracketed frames had to be merged to a natural HDR in Lightroom CC before the resulting frames were stitched into a panorama; quite a bit of work but worth it to get the best possible result. Perhaps not the best photograph I have ever taken buy definitely one to help chase away the blues.

How does this image with a long lens compare with the earlier shot with a 90mm lens?

Well a change of lens and viewpoint makes it hard to see the relationship between the two and yet overall there is an inevitable link from trees lined along the horizon. There must be many more options available here, no doubt I shall be back again.

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