• Daniel Wretham

Photographing The New Forest

Updated: Jul 1

New Forest Sunrise

Hello again everyone, How have you all been ?

I've recently had a major change in direction and have become far less interested in Dorset having shot the vast majority of it for the past ten years and needed fresh landscapes to really enjoy my photography again.

I love Dorset with a passion but theres only so long you can keep going to the same old places and couple this with the absolute explosion of photographers here now and the constant clashing of tripods along the coast and I was in much need of some peace and quiet again.

Wales has been my favoured destination to get away from it all and I have had a few trips there but its not somewhere I can just nip down the road too before or after work so I needed somewhere closer to home.

Wiltshire was an option and I had been spending a fair bit of time there but again it didn't really tick the box of being close enough on a work day and it would be reserved for weekends.

The obvious choice was Hampshire & the New Forest.

I've not really spent much time in the New forest which is odd as its right on my doorstep but I've previously found it less exciting to shoot than other venues which were closer by.

It just didn't excite me that much and thats what I really needed in order to get my teeth into an area, There was however an exception, Mist.

Mist has always been a favourite subject in my landscape photography and I loved the feel it gives to a photo, plus the limitless formations it can come in.

The chance to capture some nice light falling on it or indeed shoot into the light with some beautiful hazy mornings and then everyones favourite, the low laying cloud inversions that sit a foot or two from the ground like an inland sea washing over everything with the odd tree standing proud through the mist, I wanted some of that.

I knew several areas that were capable of producing misty mornings but of course they were popular and I really wanted to explore new areas rather than get the same shot everyone goes for.

Evenings after work were spent driving to new areas and going for long walks with the faithful photo dog which he seemed to think was the best thing ever !

Several areas were found that all looked very promising provided the right conditions came along, some good high areas along with valley type plains.

I also found several areas with ponds which could prove fruitful in the coming autumn months.

So I was now all set, I knew where I was going and what I was shooting, I just needed the conditions in order to get the shots I wanted.

September was a strong possibility for these conditions as temperatures start to drop, there is usually some rainfall and the humidity levels fluctuate, all things I was looking for.

It was potentially a bit early to hope for this but the weather this year has been a law to itself and anything could happen.

The start of September gave me an opportunity as all the elements started to come together, There was very low wind, high humidity, clear sky and a sudden drop in temperature forecast for the following day and i eagerly packed the kit up ready for a chance at it.

I set an early morning alarm and went to bed full of anticipation and the chance of a nice misty morning.

The area I was visiting was a valley with high points on both sides and a perfect mist trap, I was conscious however that we had a lack of rain in recent times and this might be a factor in how the morning panned out.

As the alarm gave its brutal screaming wake up call I looked out the window and it was indeed clear and looked good.

A quick shower to get ready as I would be going straight into work after the shoot and I was off, much to the dogs disgust who wanted to stay asleep for at least a few more hours rather than be dragged out of bed at 4.45am, i cant say i blame him.