Yesterday morning I made an early morning trip up into the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire. I'd visited the area the previous day though it was a grey and drab evening and was barely worth getting out of the car for, but at least I knew where and when I was going the next morning, and more importantly how long it would take me to get there and when to leave in order to get there for dawn. A large part of landscape photography is about planning. There is always a degree of luck involved, but the less you can leave to chance the more likely all the factors required for a good landscape image are to fall into place.
So having scoped the area, pinned down sunrise using Velaclock and calculated my departure time, typically I left the house 15 minutes late and arrived at my appointed location in the car park at the foot of Beacon Fell 2 minutes before dawn. It wasn't looking good. It was blowing a gale, raining and there were only faint glimmers of blue sky above the layers of leaden clouds. Still I'd got this far and wasn't going to be dissuaded from clambering to the top of the fell on the off chance the light might improve.
Eventually my wellies and I made it to the top and I looked around for a composition that would get me a foreground and background to work with and also some light that would make an image. I ended up with the scene above. It was even windier at the top, and using a large ND grad filter was a little like adding a sail to the front of my lens. With a lot of patience, I waited for a few gaps in the clouds and then in between gusts shot the 5 frame HDR image above.
Toned in Photomatix, and then edited in Silver Efex Pro.
I've also a few links to share as "September's selected from the web" which I've yet to share and feel are worth a few minutes of your time.
- Smarter content aware fill in Photoshop
- An introduction to focus blending
- Why No to free photography means No
- There is no tomorrow