• Daniel Wretham

Landscape Photography Blog, September 2020

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

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

September had rolled around and I had a new issue to deal with, Furlough was now over and I was going to be back working full time, this meant my recent amount of trips was going to be vastly reduced.

A change in tactic was called for, rather than going mornings only to avoid the crowds I was going to have to bite the bullet and go in the evenings which was going to be hard as I was generally finished work at about six and at the time of writing the sun was setting at 19.52 and that time would only reduce by the end of the month, getting to a location in time was going to be really tough, but not impossible.

I also decided I would do one morning a week before work, which meant a 4.30 am alarm call and a day of hard slog in the office afterwards, if I could push it to two days I would but I knew it would be tricky.

Then of course there was the weekends, I planned to go as much as I could over them but I had been booked heavily for workshops which meant I would really struggle this month for time to take pictures.

Wednesday the 2nd of September

The forecast was showing some real signs of promise for once, but I had fallen for that old trick numerous times before so I spent as much time as possible checking every app to give me a better picture of what was likely to happen.

I felt there was a very good chance of mist and I could get to the New Forest before work so a trip was planned and a 4.30 am alarm was set.

When the alarm sounded it pulled me out of the deepest of sleeps and I had to say it wasn't nice but I eagerly looked outside to see what the weather was doing, it was pretty clear with the odd few clouds about and you could see there was a bit of mist out there, but I knew it would be way better in certain areas of the forest.

The hound seemed to wonder why he was being dragged out of his bed at this god awful hour and even the promise of treats didn't make him look any happier, although he still ate them under protest.

We headed down to the New Forest and when the hound realised where he was he suddenly perked up and rushed out of the car eager to sniff every square inch of the heathland.

It was looking pretty decent to be fair, there was going to be a fairly nice sunrise but the composition I wanted to try didn't really face in this direction so I was going to have to miss out on that but my plan was to wait until the light hit the heather and hope it did so before the mist burnt away exposing the sweeping path.

I was flying a bit blind as I hadn't seen the comp I wanted in misty conditions, just during the day while walking round so I was hoping that it would look good.

I got to my spot and it didn't look too bad but after framing up I wasn't sure, I wanted to be a bit tighter and lower on the path but every time I did so I would lose all the colour in the sky so i had to make a bit of a compromise but ultimately I was happy with the shot and was really pleased to get an image under my belt this early in the month, especially after last months terrible luck.

New Forest Sunrise
Sunrise Over New Forest Mist

This shot was a bit of an all or nothing shot, there was no other immediate compositions available so as soon as I was happy I had it I quickly walked across the bottom of the valley trying to get to my next spot but the mist was already starting to clear a bit so I had to get a move on and rushed off hoping I would make it in time.

Another pathway leading down into the valley and a nice rolling hill full of heather was the target and I made it in time to still have some colour in the sky and also a reasonable amount of mist left.

I framed up a shot in portrait orientation from quite low down and it just wasn't working for me so I raised the camera a little higher and it got better but soon switched to landscape orientation and proportionately the image looked much better, flowing nicely from right to left but sadly with less heather detail in shot, again a compromise but I was happy id taken the best shot I could with the conditions, as it happened this was my favourite of the two, I just liked the lead more.

New Forest Mist
New Forest Valley Mist

So I was off and running and I was pleased I had made the effort with the early start as the day soon turned very cloudy a