Chasing the light

OK, not the most original title ever but it has the benefit of accuracy.

© Dave Whenham

As I’ve already mentioned in an earlier post today I “mis-timed” my departure this morning; or to put it another way overslept. I had checked and knew sunrise was 6.58am so, allowing for a twenty minute drive and ten minutes to set two tripods up and get cameras in place I calculated that I’d need to be out of bed at 5.45 to give me time to dress, make a flask of coffee and get the gear into the car. I awoke at 6.28 and although I moved quickly I was already past my ideal set-off time when my feet touched the bedroom floor.

Despite driving within the legal limits, of course, I was still five minutes from my intended destination, and still fifteen minutes behind schedule, when, glancing in my rear view mirror, I saw that the sun was just about to pop its head over the horizon.  Luckily the road up on the moors was quiet at 6.57am so I managed to pull over and grab the camera (Nikon D800E with my trusty Nikkor 24-70) for a couple of shots including the 10-frame panorama I posted when I got home.  I had no time to do anything other than grab the camera and shoot handheld with whatever lens happened to be on it; I would have preferred the 70-200.  Nor was there time to add ND graduated filters so I bracketed and hoped that the dynamic range of the camera and some judicious post-processing would come to my rescue.

© Dave Whenham
Handheld panorama (6 frames)

Still hoping that I’d get something at my chosen location I jumped back in the car. In the end, despite visiting two alternative shooting spots, the conditions just five minutes down the road were nowhere near as photogenic. I debated sitting with the flask and just waiting but realised that there was a totally clear sky above the scene and by the time the sun illuminated my view it would also be very harsh.

I decided to go back and chase the light and the rapidly dispersing mist back down the valley.

© Dave Whenham

I stopped just over the brow of the hill, swapped the 24-70 for the 70-200 and knowing that I had an image in the bag already took the time to get the tripod out.  The light in the upper part of the sky was much brighter than the foreground but with the sun almost bald in the sky creating huge variances within that upper area of the frame no amount of graduated ND filters were going to make much difference. I therefore bracketed by five stops but in the end only used a single frame choosing to crop the sun out on the computer.

pano_DWE2767
A tiny bit of post-production manipulation here. I applied a warm filter to the sky and a cooling filter to the landscape. The end result is closer to what I perceived at the time.
sunrise-moors-_DWE2720
Taken at the same time as the panoramas, this is a single frame.

30minsaftersunrise_DWE2774

I stopped three times driving back managing a few nice images including the tree above which sits just above the M62 motorway. The third stop, at the reservoir, yielded nothing unfortunately. Just as I got the tripod out of the boot, the geese, which had roosted overnight on the water and were my intended subject, suddenly rose and disappeared before I could even extend a single tripod leg.

However, I was not going to complain. I had chased the rapidly dispersing mist down the valley and captured a few nice images so all in all a good start to the day.  It was a shame my intended location wasn’t “doing it” for me this morning but as I’ve said before nothing beats knowing your patch and it was that knowledge that was my friend this morning.

Vimeo – for all things PTE

I have decided to use my Vimeo account purely for my Pictures to Exe experiments and to use YouTube for my other videos and video diaries. Quite a few AV producers that I follow use Vimeo so I’m hoping that by being there I may see a little more “traffic” to my own PTE offerings.  I can be found at https://vimeo.com/user10575556.

I am currently working hard at understanding the audio-editing capabilities of PTE as  the next stage in my development as I see it is fitting the transitions between slides to the flow of the music. There are a few “good” examples in my current PTE offerings but I could do a LOT better I’m sure.

The revised version of Buckstones Edge (above) features some refinements in terms of presentation and don’t miss the end credit shot with a drone and produced in Final Cut Pro – melding the two disciplines already 🙂

For the Piece Hall slideshow I opted for a faster pace compared to my earlier offerings. It worked in parts but in places there was simply too much movement. I produced a re-worked version to see for myself how small changes could make a difference and was pleasantly surprised. Another thing on my to-do list is to find out how to make these reworked versions available online without cluttering my Vimeo account with various versions.

EDIT: if this has worked here’s the link to v2 of the Piece Hall video (Windows only).

 

The Recce: Goit Stock

Harden Beck is a stream that flows from Hewenden Reservoir to the River Aire in Bingley, West Yorkshire.  The beck flows through Goit Stock Wood, which is known for being a good example of broadleaf woodland and cascades over Goit stock waterfall which is 20 ft high.  The waterfall was known as Hallas Lumb until the early 1820s when its name was changed to Goit Stock.

I’ve been to the waterfall half a dozen times in the last few years always approaching from the north via a lengthy walk up Harden Beck. Invariably by the time I’ve got there the sun has been well up which creates problems with blown out skies above the falls.  Sometimes I’ve spent so long photographing along the beck that I’ve not had much time at the falls themselves before staring the walk back to the car. So I was very pleased to discover recently that there is somewhere to park south of the falls that is just a fifteen minute walk through the woods to get to the falls. There is still the chance to photograph along the beck, albeit a much shorter stretch but most importantly you pass the smaller falls above the main Goit Stock falls and these are well worth photographing.