I recently discovered a new location to photograph near where I live. I was looking for somewhere to photograph as the weather was looking wintry, with sun and mist combining which is always a great combination.
I have driven past Delph Woods in Broadstone numerous times, and often looked over to my left at the woods and the clearing.
So on this cold day in later December 2016 I decided to go have a look.
I packed up my camera bag with all my gear, and headed off. As a treat I wore my waterproof trousers and coat, as one of the things I tend to do is lie down when I am out and about taking landscape photography images. I like to get low to the ground for different views. And yes I do get some strange looks from passers by!
I parked the car at the car park at Broadstone Cricket Ground, nestled in Delph Woods.
I was the only one out there that day with a camera, everyone else being accompanied by dogs.
So just me taking photos which is good. Just how I like it. And this proves a point I am going to come back to.
The mist was patchy and there was the odd shaft of sunlight burning through the mist. As I walked past the cricket ground into the next clearing I saw the view you can see above.
I quickly set up my tripod, having prepared my camera in the car for shooting.
I decided to use my Canon 6D with my favourite 24-105mm F4L lens.
I wanted versatility and range. I was also carrying my Canon 17-40mm F4L lens, as well as my Canon 70-200mm F4L lens. OK and yes I was also carrying my 8-15mm fisheye zoom lens.
I didn’t change lenses once. Actually I didn’t go into my bag once after I had started shooting.
Every shot I took on my tripod.
I like working like this, as I find whenever I shoot on my tripod I give more thought to my composition.
My camera was attached to an L bracket, meaning once I had set up the tripod for a composition I could quickly swap my camera from landscape to portrait orientation.
For completeness I set my ISO to 100, set my camera to AV mode, and set the aperture to F8. The only thing I needed to think about was the aperture, and what I wanted the lens to do. I did not need to worry about shutter speed or exposure. I was shooting bracketed sets of images, the first correctly exposed, the second two stops under exposed and the third image two stops over exposed. I really did not need to worry about exposure as I had all things covered.
The reason I shoot using bracketed sets is that this enables to me to create HDR images in a natural way. The technique I use gives me the maximum data in the highlights and the shadows which I put together later in Lightroom.
So that is my camera set up.
And in this post you can see the first image, which was taken about 5 minutes into my walk through the mist.
I wanted to get the starburst effect you can see in the image, as I was deliberately shooting into the sun. I wanted to capture the shafts of sunlight hitting the mist, and the sunlight falling on the ground. This was a lovely, atmospheric scene and I wanted to capture the mood..
For this shot I used an overture of F22 to get that starburst effect in the sun. I used a focal length of 60mm, and the first exposure was 1/15th second. Not a problem as I was on my tripod of course.
Oh yes – a couple of other things about how I take my images.
Firstly how I focus. I use a technique called back button focus. I have assigned a button on the back of my camera to activate focussing, taking it away from the shutter release button. This allows me to separate focus and exposure, which for me are two completely separate things. I focus first, then set the exposure.
The second thing is how I actually take the image. I do not use cable releases, wireless releases or anything like that. I just use the timer on my camera.
My camera setup, after all these years of practise, has been simplified down to this. And my image capture has also been simplified.
This all leaves me to concentrate on composition.
Processing of this image was all done in Lightroom. No Photoshop required. I will talk about the processing of this image in another post, along with my alternative edit of this image.
I will be back to my pictures of Delph Woods later on this week.
Rick McEvoy Photography
Tuesday 10th January 2017