• Daniel Wretham

Landscape Photography Blog, October 2020

This is an account of the good and bad times during October for a landscape photographer.

All the mistakes laid bare for you to see and hopefully more highs than lows.

September had been a gruelling month and I knew October was going to be even harder as I was now back to full time work after having a period of furlough from work.

Time was now the enemy and I was going to be seriously short of it, back to being a weekend warrior and the odd trip before work, but even these were getting too short to do it before I had to leave for work so the pressure was really on.

Thursday the 1st of October

A pre work trip was on the cards as it looked like there could be some mist forming in the New forest so I set an early alarm hoping to capitalise on it.

I woke up and looked outside, it didn't look great but I told myself it would be better in the forest so it would be worth going so I headed off with the hound to visit one of his favourite spots.

The drive down was not helping to reassure me as the usual misty hot spots were completely devoid of it and I cursed the weathermen once again who seemed to have it in for me.

I arrived at my chosen location and there was nothing, it actually looked beyond terrible so I decided it was pointless chasing something that wasn't there and took the dog off for a long walk which he was over the moon about.

I decided to head into work an hour early as I had plenty to do and really needed to crack on with it, as I poured my first coffee of the day and felt the surge of life running through me I looked outside and the clouds were clearing and the light was starting to come through, I was livid, now I was in work I couldn't very well leave again so I just looked the other way and got on with my day vowing to add a weatherman dartboard to the office.

This was really not the start I wanted for October, Its traditionally one of the very best months as there is so much autumn colour about and potentially amazing conditions.

Never mind I thought, i'll get something on the weekend instead.

I then looked at the forecast and was in for a devastating blow, it was solid rain on both days and all thoughts of a trip looked like they were completely out as storm Alex was due to hit the UK, I just couldn't believe the poor luck I was having this year, surely it had to end soon right ?

Wednesday the 7th of October

I had been unable to go for a good few days and now I was a week into the month with only one trip out due to a combination of poor weather and social commitments so I was absolutely gagging to get out.

The first chance I got was forecast to be a completely clear morning, typical ! but with wind and low humidity so now chance of mist, I didn't care I was going to go anyway as I just needed to get out.

I only have a couple of viable options to go to on the way to work as time is so short, the New Forest, Knowlton Church or Horton Tower.

I didn't fancy the forest for some reason and I had shot Knowlton the week before so I settled on Horton tower and hoped that the weather gods would be kind.

The alarm went off at 5.30 which was actually quite comfortable now we were getting the later sunrises and I looked outside, there was a little high level cloud swirling around and I have to admit, it looked quite viable so I jumped in the shower and got myself ready and headed down the ultra familiar roads to Horton Tower with the dog in tow.

I arrived around 45 minutes before sunrise and it was really looking quite good, a small gap and lots of high level cloud so I assessed the situation and made a decision where to shoot from, I was very limited as there are fields to the left & right of the path and both contained sheep, while access was allowed via a footpath I had my dog with me and even though he was on a lead I didn't want to risk going in a field full of sheep and upsetting them so I was eft with shooting from the path which was fine by me as the nice lead line was perfect for the tower.

Colour was starting on the horizon and it really did seem like it was all going to go off, it was quite a bit to the left of the tower but with a wide angle lens on it would easily be in shot and if the colour spread over a bit as I expected it to then it meant I would have an easier job to expose it as the sun would be just out of shot with any luck.

The morning unfolded and the sky exploded with spectacular colour and I happily snapped away, To expose this shot is a nightmare as the tower comes up right by the horizon so using grads wasn't as cl