Early Alarm Photo Wander
The forecast looked good for Saturday morning: quite cool overnight, not much wind. I set the alarm for 4.10am. At this time of the year there are fewer misty mornings, as generally it's too warm for the mist to form. I've had many disappointments, having set my alarm very early, to be met with a pretty boring and not very atmospheric dawn. The sinking feeling when I reach the park gates and peek through and see no mist, is always a little gutting when several hours of sleep have been sacrificed. However, on this occasion I was not let down. There were plenty of localised mist pockets. Sadly, the sky was looking clear and uninteresting, but I cycled into the middle of the park and locked up.
I wandered past the ponds. I know I've posted photographs of this view a few times recently, but it seems rude not to setup my tripod and grab a quick shot, when I'm literally walking right past, and the conditions are as nice as this. Some cloud was slowly rolling in from the south west - maybe the sky wouldn't be as boring as I initially thought...
I headed in the direction of one of my favourite trees. I haven't photographed this tree recently, as the location doesn't work so well from January onwards. It tends to look quite bare and trampled, with all the visitor footfall (take the bottom right of the image below as an example). Until there is a bit of spring growth to repair the bare earth, I tend to stay away from this spot. The sky was definitely starting to look more promising, as more clouds rolled in.
As sunrise approached, I set up this composition below, and then just took multiple shots (consisting of 3 exposure brackets, for anyone that's interested) over the course of the next few minutes, until the sun was above the treeline in the distance. I think this one below is my favourite from the set.
I recently bought a new (second hand) wide angle lens. It is an upgrade to my really cheap (second hand) 18-35mm that I bought about 18 months ago. It's so old it's almost vintage, and only cost me £199. It was a great purchase at the time - it gave me the opportunity to try out wider focal lengths, without having to spend much money. My new lens is a more modern 14-24mm f/2.8 and it is a superior lens. It's also really nice to have the option to go as wide as 14mm.
Anyway, I thought I'd try it out on this little scene below. By the time I'd set up the shot, the mist was gone. But the light was gorgeous. The clouds were softening the sun's rays, and making very subtle patterns in the sky. I love how the yellow grasses in the foreground are illuminated. They really pop against the dark blues and greens in the water.
I saw this amazing hawthorn tree as I headed back to my bike. It was full of pink blossom, and it seemed to have a very determined pose. I held my camera low to the ground to get the amazing sky in the background, and grabbed this shot.
Not long after I took this, the cloud smothered the sun completely, and the morning was suddenly rather grey.
There was mist again on Tuesday morning, but on Monday I tweaked my back (a reoccurring injury). I think a combination of doing lots of work at the allotment, painting the decking in the garden, and the addition of more kit to my camera bag, have probably all played a part. It felt like a bad idea to try and get out to take photos. Hopefully it will be back to normal in a few days.