Evading the guards

Well, as you’ve seen I slipped out today whilst no-one was watching and headed up to the moors for the first time in well over two months. To be fair, this morning was the first time I’ve felt up to it. It started to snow whilst I was out and indeed the snow was already six inches deep up on the moors themselves.

© Dave Whenham

Not bad for less than thirty minutes outside the car.

I’ve posted several images on my blog already and have a couple more scheduled for tomorrow too. A few on Facebook and Flickr have gone down well too. Most importantly I’ve printed one this afternoon for a future PPC or UPP folio.

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Printed!

The image I’ve printed was fully formed in my head before I’d even pulled the car off the road at Ringstone Reservoir although surprisingly it was only the second image I made, the first I will post at the end of the blog. Usually I shoot at the reservoir on the return journey as it is easier for parking etcetera but it is so rarely that I see the water so flat that I pulled over immediately. No filters, just the camera and the tripod and a smug feeling after I pressed the shutter release.

I would have been happy just getting up on to the moors but to end up with over twenty processed images was way beyond any expectations I may have had. I was sensible (and I’m not just saying that in case Senior Management reads this) and had wrapped up well. I also ensured I was only out of the car for around ten minutes each time; I stopped at the reservoir on the way out, then on Buckstones Edge before stopping at a slightly different spot alongside  the reservoir again on the return journey. The sheer joy of being outside. The snow was six inches deep up on the moors and the car park was a skating rink underneath a new dusting of fresh snow. But I stayed upright.

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My first landscape image in almost three months.

 

Minus One … and falling

A balmy minus one this morning so I slipped the leash and drove up to the moors when no one was looking. On the way I pass Ringstone Edge reservoir. Being fairly high up and open the water is rarely completely calm but even at 1/250th second it was very flat and still this morning. I opted for a minimalist approach.

© Dave Whenham

Ringstone Reservoir at Minus One

It was a slightly cooler minus four a bit further up the road as I got out onto the moor and when I got to Buckstones Edge I suspect it was even cooler but didn’t think to check!

© Dave Whenham

Minus 5?

A 365-2018 Update

We start this round up with image number 22, a 12-second exposure taken with the camera placed on the wet paving of the newly-refurbished Piece Hall in Halifax. I wrote at the time that sat between the night and the morning is a kind of twilight zone that many photographers call The Blue Hour (there’s also one in the evening but it was morning that I was concerned with). I subsequently blogged about the Blue Hour concluding that it was probably nearer 15 minutes!

© Dave Whenham

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Image 23 is another “Blue Hour” image and  it turned out to be a little problematic from my perspective.  Old Lane, from which this was taken is quite busy around 7.30am as it is a rat-run for commuters into the town centre. To get the composition I wanted I had to venture onto some private land and had already incurred the wrath of the security man who grudgingly let me have five minutes but hovered a few feet away throughout. This was a 12 second exposure and I was struggling to find a gap in the traffic so in the end I decided to accept the light trail even though I find it a little distracting. Distracting not because of the colour, one fellow 365-er pondered if a red light trail would look better,  but because it is so bold. I’m not sure cropping is the answer as you lose the top of the steps and the splashes of light on the cobbles. Had I more time I would have tried to find a gap in the traffic I think but we work with what we have.  A return with a slightly wider lens so I don’t need to encroach onto private land is one option as is returning at 7.30am one Sunday morning when I suspect the security guys will be less attentive.

© Dave Whenham

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Continuing the Blue Hour which seemed to be my theme at least at the start of the week, image 25 was another Blue Hour offering, also taken within the Dean Clough complex in Halifax.  I only took two images  before the heavens opened and I was left scurrying for the car dragging the tripod behind me. My preferred composition had rain drops on the lens and I deliberated between using the weaker of the two images, attempting to clone out the flares or just using the image as-is, all of which deliberation  led to another blog post. The consensus from my fellow 365-ers was that emotion trumps technical perfection however and concurred with my decision to leave the flare alone. That said, I posted all the other configurations to Flickr anyway including a mono for good measure!

© Dave Whenham

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Last week was quite busy photographically. Not however in shooting lots of new work, I averaged three frames a day, but made progress in terms of processing some of my backlog of RAW files, posting same to Flickr and writing blog posts. I am still unable to spend too long out in the cold hence arriving at a chosen location, always one I know, taking three or four images and getting back into the car.

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Without a doubt my favourite image off the week was taken on Friday the 26th when I pottered down to the canal for the first time in months, albeit in the car rather than walking. The Blue Hour, all fifteen minutes of it, had passed whilst I was driving back to Elland from Halifax, but I was delighted to find a moody sky and knew exactly where to go to take advantage of it. It’s one of the advantages of knowing your patch. I couldn’t resist another visit to this spot this morning (Sunday 28th) . I had found half a dozen compositions on the Friday morning and took the opportunity to add another to my 365. I love the outline of the tree against the sky – something which marks the image out as a winter shot.

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Once again, I haven’t posted the whole weeks output which can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/fatherpie/albums/72157668013369999

I am really enjoying the 365 thus far; the experience is far better than the 28-day challenge I undertook one February some years ago and once again I think that 63-2017 set me up very well. In fact I would recommend that anyone contemplating starting a 365 on the next 1st January should start on the previous 1st October to get a feel for the discipline and not have too much worries about missing a day.

True, I wake each morning contemplating the image for the day. Those days when I need to take Amanda to work are easier as I grab a camera and know that Dean Clough will have something to offer regardless of the light. Just shy of a third of the images in my 365 as of today were taken in Halifax close to or within the Dean Clough complex. My knowledge of my local patch has come in handy too, especially the two canal-side images at the end of this week when conditions were poor but I knew where a moody, gritty mono might be found! Most days I have my image of the day captured before mid-morning but I do not worry if this is not the case and even on a day like yesterday when the weather is foul, I found a creative image indoors (below); one that would probably have remained “in my head” had I not been undertaking the 365.

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That’s it for this round up which covers the period 20th-28th January inclusive. Expect a month one update next week. We are also only nine images from one hundred consecutive daily pictures so expect a further update, incorporating the first six days of February around that time.