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Mist at Bodiam

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Heading home on a cold clear Friday night, I thought there would be a good chance of mist the next morning. So, alarm set for 6am I set out for Bodiam castle. The weather didn’t disappoint.

I arrived while it was still relatively dark, so I set up the camera and tripod using the light from the car boot before trundling off toward the castle.

Though my main focus was to capture any mist coming off the moat, I did stop to take one or two shots looking out across the fields.

 I decided to use the foliage to frame my a lot of my shots, as the sky, looking from the south east corner,  was pretty plain. It wasn’t until I walked round to the north west corner, that the sky proved to be a little more dramatic (once the sun had started to rise above the layer of mist). It was here that I bumped into another photographer, who I had a nice chat with as we snapped away.

All shots were taken at 10mm (crop sensor) and filtered with a 3 stop ND grad. (See phone snap below)

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Les Vacances De Monsieur Wares

So as you may have guessed from the title, my family and I took a week long trip to Normandy, northern France, renting a cottage in the sleepy village of Lonlay l’Abbaye. Using this as a base we traveled out most days, taking in as much of the surrounding area as possible.

The scenery was fantastic as one might imagine, from rolling fields of corn and maize, to old rustic and often run down buildings. Right up my street.

The pictures above are my favourites from the shots I took for myself, when not grabbing snaps of the family. I’ve decided to leave them mixed up rather than separate them into different locations, as quite frankly I can’t be arsed, hehe.  A good proportion were taken wandering through various back and side streets as I am want to do. The places we visited are as follows: Lonlay l’Abbaye, Honfleur, Granville, Bayeux, Alencon, Bagnoles-de-l’Orne, Domfont and a couple of impromptu stops along the way.

À la prochaine

 

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Reaching for the stars

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(My first attempt at shooting the sky at night. The Perseid meteor shower also visible, centre frame. The line to the left is an aircraft. Also, the light on the horizon is not the moon but a cross channel ferry)

 So with yesterday being such a clear and beautiful day, come midway through the evening I decided it might be a good opportunity to try and capture the Milky Way. However, in my part of the world, finding a dark spot with little to no light pollution is hard to come by. The best place for me is about a 20min drive to Pett Level, situated half way between the towns of Hastings and Rye. Being on the south coast means that the most visible part of the Milky Way is seen looking straight out to sea.

A quick look at the weather report, showed that there would be a big bank of cloud coming through at around 1am, however, when we arrived at 11pm, the clouds were already beginning to push in. Even though this is the darkest location near to me, light pollution from the two towns was quite visible but was just far enough away to see the stars and Milky way with the naked eye.

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I pretty much knew which camera settings I would need to use and I wasn’t far off on my first couple of shots. 15 seconds, ISO2000 at f2.8 with my Sigma lens set at 18mm. After a few shots at this setting I then decided to increase the ISO to 2500. The most difficult part was trying to set the focus as best I could, as just selecting infinity doesn’t always get you the best results. I’m not entirely convinced the I nailed it on this occasion.

We we also very lucky to see a some of the Perseid meteor shower, with one really bright one going right overhead. Unfortunately not where my camera was pointing but I did manage to capture a few in some frames. ( See top image and one below, visible top right corner)

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The other factor reducing visibility, apart from cloud and light pollution, are the nights being currently at their shortest, so it’s doesn’t really get truly dark as it would during the winter months. With this in mind and looking at the results from this, my first attempt, I will definitely be returning at each new moon, when the sky is at its darkest during the winter months. Weather permitting of course.

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RX118 morning launch

It was a stunning morning today and so, before work, I headed towards Hastings old town to see what opportunities were to be had. When there I headed for the beach and the fishing fleet.

As luck would have it, the three man team of RX118 had just started the process of readying the boat to be launched from the beach. All the boats at Hastings are launched in this way, being carefully pushed by bulldozer over wooden sleepers towards the sea.

I decided to stay and photograph the whole process, about 20-30 mins in total. On this occasion I asked the skipper if he minded me hanging about taking pics, of which he had no objection to, so long as I stayed a safe distance back.

I took around 100 pics in total but have managed to whittle it down to 24 to show here.

I’ve processed all the photos in my usual black and white style. Despite it being a glorious sunny morning, I believe the monotone helps make a stronger image.

*A big hello to the fellow photographer I  met on the beach and had a nice chat with. Hope you got some good shots too. *