Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Day of Contrast

With any climbing plans rained off for the weekend and looking for any excuse to get out of doing DIY, I decided to try and photograph some of the local scenery.

Over the last week the sunshine and showers have been creating some fantastic light with dramatic storm clouds illuminated by bright blue sky and sunlight. Timing is everything when the weather is like this so driving through the torrential rain i was pleased on arrival at the first spot that the sun reappeared.

My first thought was to try and capture the fantastic yellow fields of rapeseed. The recent rain has really brought this out over the last week or so. Heading south of Bristol i found a field i had spotted a few days ago nestled in a valley near Keynsham. Walking down the side of the field the smell was amazing and with the showers having just passed the air was clear and crisp. It's not often i find myself inhaling hard due to the fresh smell of the countryside rather than puffing and panting up a hill!


When the sun burst through the yellow of the field came to life, a true spring landscape. There was plenty of wildlife around as well but i wasn't quick enough with the camera for most of it, expect for the shot of the... Kestrel?

Next spot on the list was the severn crossing. I've seen plenty of great photos of the bridge but it has never been the type of landscape that has appealed enough for me to go and photograph it. However with the storm clouds moving in i thought there could be opportunity for a dramatic shot.

Again shortly after pulling up the rain stopped. Not for long though, I had to spend the next hour ducking in and out of the shelter of the bridge to avoid the rain. The dark sky, muddy brown water and the grey concrete definitely lent itself to a monochrome image, a contrast in all respects from my earlier scene.

I'm still learning the finer details of long exposure, this was 25 seconds that was enough to convey the movement in the cloud and smooth the choppy water. When i've saved a few pennies i'll get a proper ND filter to really slow things down.

I proved to be an interesting outing all round. Yesterday definitely reinforced the view that to get dramatic landscapes it definitely helps to be out in dramatic weather which normally means dodging showers. Grab a waterproof and go for it!

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