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...

LovelyPonds-2a.jpg



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.

LovelyPonds-6b.jpg


LovelyPonds-7b.jpg



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.

LovelyPonds-9.jpg



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.

LovelyPonds-11.jpg



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.

LovelyPonds-13.jpg

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.



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33 comments
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I can't tell how many times I have photographed my favourite spots over and over again, and your scene is well worth shooting and posting more than once.

Brilliant photos as always, Cath, and although I love the foggy images, the Hawthorn tree is my favourite 😊


!PIZZA and !BEER - sounds like a nice dinner :)
!invest_vote

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Thank you Johann! There are certain views, at certain times of the year, that I'm always drawn too. I guess Mother Nature always puts on a different show each morning, so the images are always unique. :)

Glad that you like the photos. And really glad that you like the Hawthorn! I was happy to have found him.

Thank you for the !PIZZA :)

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I think we all have these places we always visit.
You're very welcome Cath 😊

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Really nice set of images, love the fog adds such an interesting element to the shots.

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Thank you very much! I do love a bit of fog and mist - I spend hours looking at the weather apps on my phone, trying to second guess when it will appear. :)

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I am not so dedicated as you are, to sacrifice my sleep for a sunrise but I love your pictures! Actually I think that the only sunrises I have taken pictures of, are when I camped overnight at the spot and I just woke up to take the shot :)
I hope your back will be better soon.
Cheers!

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Thank you @fotostef! The early alarm is a bit painful, but when the morning is a nice as this, it makes it all worth while. I'd love to camp overnight somewhere, and then wake up for dawn photography. That sounds brilliant!

Back definitely improving, I think I am on the mend. Thanks for the well wishes. :)

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This early morning adventure is something I wanted to try too :-)

The first shot looks the best among these shots.

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You should definitely try it! It's always nice to watch the beginning of a new day. :)

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I wish i could get up early enough to find similar scenes around here like you do. Great selection! Stunning photos!

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Thank you Nick! Yes, it's a little painful. Thankfully I am more of a morning than evening person. Not quite a 4am in the morning person, but it does help. Also, it's only for a few months of the year that it's stupidly early. :)

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I like the angle and light of the photos. You have done very well

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Thank you @azamsohrabi! The light was beautiful, it was a lovely morning to be out with my camera. Glad that you like my photos. :)

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