Thursday, 31 May 2018

Winter on the Southwell Trail - Part 22

After the early March snow and mist, I thought there would be a quiet transition to the official start of spring.

Feeling that I had enough winter pictures of the Southwell Trail I tended to potter a bit with the camera looking for signs of the new season arriving. For example, the fields were being prepared for new crops, willow catkins started to bud, and a damson tree (wild plum) had flowered:

During this time I continued with the trail views and some close-ups of tree bark:

What I didn't expect on the eve of spring was more snow but that is exactly what happened as the Beast from the East 2 arrived. This started a new round of winter photography extending the series way beyond what I had originally intended.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Blidworth Woods (March 2018)

Wooded areas are not always the first choice for golden hour photography. The views are often restricted and the sun tends to drop below the tree line too early losing some of the best light.

There are, however, a couple of ways to overcome this. The first is finding a part of the wood that is situated on higher ground with the sun broadly over the shoulder. The higher the better really, as the higher ground loses the light later than the lower areas - to state the obvious.

Then it is a case of watching the light, how it moves from ground level to the top of the trees. I particularly like waiting for the soft highlights as this selection, in reserve time order, demonstrates:

In addition, there is always some room for improvisation in landscape photography. On this occasion I used some standing water to reflect the changing light conditions. This allowed the sky to feature in the compositions, countering the closed nature of a wood I mentioned at the start of the post. I repeated the shot several times over a 20 minute period as the light gradually faded:

The last shot shows the view from the top of the path and gives an indication of the elevation in this part of Blidworth Woods.

I think it is also worth mentioning that all the above images were taken with a compact camera, handheld and no tripod. This demonstrates that it is possible to enjoy golden hour photography without a big bag of equipment.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Strawberry Hill - Part 3 (March 2018)

Taking a different route to Strawberry Hill wasn't a terrific idea and I found myself having to navigate around long stretches of churned up muddy tracks. I was diverted several times and eventually ended up at the site of the former Rufford Colliery tip where the landscape changes quite dramatically.

Some of the former tip has been restored as a wetland area for wildlife which includes a large man-made lake bordered with reed beds:

Others parts of the tip are still in use for the disposal of coal and gives a glimpse of how the landscape may have looked when the colliery was operating and mining for coal:

On the paths leading up to the former tip area are old border fences and I spotted the remains of this coal board warning sign:

As I mentioned, many of the tracks were muddy and wet creating these reflections of the surrounding trees:

Finally, a selection of tree compositions, some taken on my usual route from Stawberry Hill back to the car.