It's been a long time, but finally, Laurence and I made it back out. Threats of heavy
rain forced a change of destination and we abandoned a trip to the welsh hills and
stayed closer to home at Cannock chase.
There was plenty of wildlife about early doors, until the kamikaze cyclists appeared
anyway, but equally and more important from my point of view, there was some nice
light after the rainstorms during the night.
Like the Forest of dean, the Chase has trees and lots of them. In my bag was a new
toy, a 7 stop neutral density filter, and there was just enough breeze stirring the
trees to try for some of the shots I had in mind when I bought it.
I do like long exposure photography. Every image feels considered and important,
even if the reality often appears unexpectedly different back home on the big screen.
It is very hard to appreciate exactly what you have captured looking at the back
of the camera. Invariably the surprises have all been pleasant ones so far.
In an effort to extend exposure times, even with the 7 stopper, I always use the
lowest (L ) iso setting. l will also use the smallest possible aperture that artistic
considerations allow. The low iso allows a huge amount of recovery in lightroom on
underexposed shots without incurring much in the way of noise penalties. Obviously
I don't want to get the exposure wrong, but sometimes I like just the way a predominantly
underexposed image looks, and will choose to do it deliberately. Often I will work
my way into a shot increasing the exposure times only to find that the light has
changed before I have it just right. In those circumstances, it is nice to know I
can salvage a near (or even a not so near ) miss.
Later in the morning after the best light had passed along with any hope I had of
a truly pleasing image, I got lucky. I’d walked into a dark, over grown and low,
canopied copse, I took the picture two above this text and while it was ok and pretty
much what I had hoped to capture my heart wasn’t in it. As I turned to walk back
out onto the sunlit track, I saw the picture I really wanted (below). Without a doubt
it is one I am very pleased with and I had a job to choose the version I liked best.
I tried a couple of different exposures, but I knew I had what I wanted. 28 seconds
at f16, iso 50. Happy with that.