27th October 2013
Britain is often described as “A green and pleasant land. ”Well there is a good reason for that, it rains a lot here.
We sit right in the flow of the Gulf Stream, surrounded by water that is a bit warmer than it should be if our latitude was taken as any indicator.
This gives us the mild but wet maritime climate that lends such variety to our weather.
On the whole we Brits are pretty philosophical about that weather but this year has been a wet one even by our standards.
Good for the rivers and lakes. Good for all that green stuff too but not my favourite conditions for photography.
One subject that soft lighting does tend to favour though is woodlands.
Hard, bright light produces contrast that is often difficult to manage but the flat grey sky, though lacking much dirrection, does open up the areas that would otherwise be lost in shadow.
Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge is a lovely wooded valley cut though by the dark peaty stream of Hebden Water.
The rock course of the river provides lots of good angles and the intermittent drizzly rain added it’s own gloss to the foliage as it slowly donned it’s Autumnal garb.
I like moving water but it presents a problem for photographers to capture in a still image.
One approach is to freeze the movement with a fast shutter speed.
Another approach is to let the water flow through the image by using a longer shutter speed.
There are many settings in between these extremes of course but essentially those are the choices we have to make.
No prizes for guessing which approach I like best.
In my opinion neither method accurately captures the way water moves, only video could really do that. but to me it seems more honest to depict the fluidity of water with a longer exposure.
Some will disagree I suppose but these are my pictures created through the filter of my personal taste.
For anyone interested in trying this approach for themselves, a dull day such as this is a great time to start.
A tripod or some other stable way of supporting the camera is a must and a cable release or switch is much more convenient than using a self timer to avoid moving the camera when you take your shot.
Selecting the lowest iso. setting on your camera will not only help to lengthen your shutter speed but also give you the highest quality it can produce.
If your camera can be fitted with filters, a neutral density filter can also be used to give longer exposures but shooting in low light with a small aperture is often all you need to give an exposure of over half a second or so.