Winter Wonderland

This winter has so far been pretty mild with only a few frosts to really speak about, that changed this week – albeit very briefly.

My birthday is in January and so far, having just started my 29th lap around the sun I can only recall maybe 1 time it actually snowed on my birthday. After having a relaxed morning and a few calls with my family it started to snow, I didn’t really think much of it until after about an hour when I noticed it had started settling and getting a bit heavier. After checking with the MetOffice I saw that the snow was only going last until the afternoon where it was going to go back to traditional UK winters and be grey an rainy. I donned a lot of clothes (I actually got to wear my snow trousers in the snow!), grabbed my camera gear and set off with Skylar in tow to the Lonely Tree.

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There wasn’t too much around at the bottom of the hill and so before Skylar went too bananas I got her to sit in the ferns and got some portraits of her. (Best to do this first else her tongue features heavily in all her photos! 😀 )

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By the time I got out of the wooded area and almost to the top there was a lot more snow around, I was however nice and warm and dry in all my onion layers.

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Once at the top I switched to my 24mm F1.4 lens, I haven’t had it for long and wanted to put it through its paces to see what I can get from it. Fair to say I wasn’t disappointed.

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We played around in the snow for quite a while and after Skylar got bored of me taking her photo we headed back home. By the time we had got home the snow had stopped and was already melting in the light rain and by about 4pm it had all gone (the best kind of snow, snow that doesn’t hang around and cause issues).

Photo Tip: In snowy conditions you will need to dial in some exposure compensation or the camera will under expose your image leaving it looking dull and grey. I personally use my camera in manual mode so I can set the exposure I want, just keep an eye on your histogram to make sure those highlights aren’t clipping.

That’s all for this post, I will be trying to post more to the blog as I feel I’ve neglected it a bit. See you next time. 

Winter Is Here

So for those of you that are out side of the UK, winter here is usually pretty poop with the norm being constant grey overcast rainy days. However Storm Caroline hit the UK on Thursday and brought with her strong winds on Thursday night but then also quite a large amount of snow! So Friday there wasn’t too much when I woke up but it hit hard Friday night – this meant the bike park was going to be closed Saturday.

I had been constantly checking my weather app (I highly recommend weather underground, its so accurate!) on my phone and the forecast for Saturday morning was a bit of cloud but mostly clear – result! My plan was to get up early and photograph the sunrise from the Lonely Tree.

I got up just before 7 am and put on a lot of layers (it was saying the temperature was going to be -1°C but with the wind it would be a bit colder – I know -1 isn’t that cold in the grand scheme of things but I’m soft! hahahah) and donned my head torch as it was still dark outside and headed off up the hill. (Skylar didn’t come as it was a) way too early for her to drag herself out of bed – she likes a lay in! and b) she is worse than me in the cold and i think she would have turned into a puppy shaped ice-cube!). It was an interesting walk to the Lonely Tree as it is rather steep! Fortunately I didn’t slide all the way down and was taking my first photo at 7:40 am in the blue hour just before the sunrise.

Blue Hour Panoramic

It was amazing up there, like a scene from Narnia! And best of all I had it all to myself!!!!

I wondered around a bit looking for a few different compositions while the sun started to rise and the golden hour began.

I took a few photos for panoramic stitching as well as bracketing some exposures for an HDR effect so I could capture the whole range of highlights and shadows.

As the sun started to rise I found another spot to shoot from (I did manage to walk into a snow drift at that point which was almost a deep as my welly boots are tall!!)

Sunrise

I had an awesome time taking my photos and I think I captured some of my best ever photos today.