The dawn walk I have been posting about this week took me through woods I have often posted about on this blog. Unlike yesterday’s underexposed images this first photo is much more like the reality of the place. The second, however, is again underexposed – the effect of the morning sunlight and shade of the trees on the footpath highlighted the forms and patterns of the leaves and the warmth of colour from the just risen sun produced a real sense of the place at that time.
Almost there! No, I’m not talking about the imminent arrival of planes at Cardiff or London or wherever they are going – I’m talking about the sunrise which the passengers will have seen significantly before I did.
Early morning inbound flights can be quite a nuisance when field recording if you happen to be on one of the main flight paths for Wales and southern UK but I guess they are a fact of life these days. On this occasion they were not particularly noticeable and that would be due to some of the other sounds of the morning (traffic) and also the atmospheric conditions – wind direction etc. I never cease to marvel at the difference in the environmental sounds around me which are the result of different conditions from morning to morning.
On a positive note, the sketches on the sky drawn by the airplanes can bring something extra to a composition (disregarding the pollution of course).
During the nice weather at the end of September I made a point of going for a morning walk slightly earlier than usual in order to catch the rising sun. The sky was just beginning to lighten when I arrived at my viewing point and the atmosphere with the clouds and mist lying along the valley floor and amongst the trees was almost eerie.
Looking north up the river Loughor valley the distant Betws wind farm could be seen through a gap in the clouds while looking east across the valley the sun is clearly on its way as proven by the vapour trail glinting in the lightening sky.
You will also be able to see the second photo in monotone on Wednesday at Leanne Cole’s Photography blog post – Monochrome Madness 2-28
The conditions on this morning’s walk were darker than on the previous day. This did not stop me enjoying the walk just as much and the darker sky meant that this panorama shot taken on my iPhone needed very little adjustment in order to accurately represent the scene over the hill at the highest point of my walk.
Contrasting light can be one of the greatest challenges in photography, so if the purpose is to represent the scene as it was rather than creating a more dramatic view, then it is quite convenient to have more even light.
And so the drama today comes not from the scene but from a detail of the landscape. The scribbled twigs of the tree in the second image could represent a snapshot from a stormy, windy day. That is what the angles, textures and movement say to me in this picture, but in fact the weather was completely still without a breath of wind.
When selecting images to post on this blog I try to pick photos that I like for a range of different reasons – composition, texture, pattern – perhaps most importantly, how well they depict my memory of the place they represent.
My main reason for choosing the images below is composition. In the first shot I particularly like the combined shapes of the light – the oblique oval of reflected light on the water of the canal and the quarter oval of light in the sky. The image, for me, is not so much about the reflection of land on water as the abstract shapes of light and dark, hence my rendering of the second image.
The composition of the last photo has nothing to do with manipulation. This was simply the way the reflection appeared with the apparent shape mask being created by the reflection of the wall and underside of a bridge over the canal. The shot was a little underexposed but this made for a more dynamic and abstract composition.
Complementary images are posted on Instagram through the week and can also be seen on the sidebar of the StillWalks blog.
The first image below is not monochrome but you would be forgiven for thinking it is. I admit to taking the saturation down a bit but most of the effect comes from the direction of sunlight (yes, sunlight) and the angle of the camera. There was also quite a weird light in the sky anyway (as can be seen in my first post this week), and this has also contributed to these images.