Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Ox Stones

This is my first visit to the Ox Stones in the Peak District. The stones are on Burbage Moor near Ringinglow and Lady Canning's Plantation.

A first visit involves scouting the shape of the rocks for composition purposes and assessing the angle of the light. Some of this can be prepared using apps like the Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE) but direct experience of the venue can't really be beaten. And, as I discovered, the Ox Stones look completely different depending on the camera angle and shooting position.  

Overall, I favour one composition where a small overhang or peak is visible to the right of the frame. Having made this decision aids like TPE come into their own. I can now see that the angle of the light at sunrise or sunset in November, December and January is probably better for my favoured composition. On this visit the sun's angle was a little straight on these shots and light is therefore a touch too harsh. In the winter months there looks to be a greater potential for more subtle side lighting.

These are some of the results from this visit including a shot of the nearby trig point and a view across a fairly barren Burbage Moor:




Sunday, 27 September 2015

Photography Week 39

Photography week 39 (21st to 27th September 2015) was dominated by a trip to Cornwall - see earlier posts - but these are some of the other pictures from this week.

Rainworth Heath

This is a quote from the Wildlife Trust's information about Rainworth Heath:

"Lowland heath is an internationally rare and threatened habitat, identified as a priority under European law. Despite a decline of 75% since 1800, Britain supports one fifth of the world's heathland. At the time of the Domesday Book, about 67% of the Sherwood area was heathland - today that figure is less than 4%."

Helping to conserve the heathland is a flock of Hebridean sheep. Their grazing of the course grasses increases the diversity of plant species on the heath - an unexpected find in the East Midlands!

Much of the heath is rightly fenced off and walking is confined to the pathways. I picked out this common tansy plant which is has an interesting history - more here.

This time of year the heather is fading away but I found pockets of colour both common heather (Calluna vulgaris) and bell heather (Erica cinerea):

Last of the summer greens?

A brief bit of sun provided the backlighting for these shots - will not be long before these summer greens begin to die away:


I don't go out of my way to find and photograph fungi although it is a good time of year to do so. I came across this fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) toadstool:


Underside of road bridges across the Southwell Trail:


It has been a good week for low cloud some of it rain bearing but mostly fluffy white cloud:

Landscapes - Dorket Head

Dorket Head is a regular photographic venue not too far from home. The undulating landscape and isolated trees make good compositions all year round. For this visit there was the added bonus of a tractor:

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Morning Light

I returned to St Michael's Mount at dawn on the following day. I wanted to capture the classic shot of the causeway and the mount. I had been unsuccessful with this shot on the previous evening due to the number of people on the beach and the causeway.

Again I was lucky with conditions and the tide was retreating nicely as the early morning progressed. One of the benefits of dawn photography is the potential for long exposures which gives a smooth silky finish to the sea water.

These were the some of the results:

Friday, 25 September 2015

St Michael's Mount

After an afternoon at Land's End we moved on to Marazion and the final location of the day. St Michael's Mount is probably on every landscapers bucket list of photographic venues. It has all the compositional elements required for a classic land or seascape photograph: side lighting at sunrise and sunset; a causeway to the island providing a lead-in; movement from the sea; foreground interest at low tide; and not forgetting the island itself as a strong focal point and subject.

This was my first visit and with excellent conditions I feel able to strike St Michael's Mount from the list of must visit UK photo locations. These are some of the results:

Land's End

Following a morning in Falmouth, we headed for Land's End to have a look at the much photographed Enys Dodnan arched rock, the Armed Knight rock and Longships lighthouse.

It was a glorious afternoon with little wind and warm sunshine making the conditions for photography very pleasant. These were some of the results: