This collection of images were taken on a short break in the west country during September. The weather as is usual in the United Kingdom was variable. Indeed, on that break, we encountered warm sun, as well as torrential rain, a hailstorm and buffeting winds. The upside to this was that the cloud formations were absolutely incredible and on my black and whites only needed some tweaking in Curves to bring out their majesty and in some instances their threat of storms.
The first photograph is of a tree I encountered in a field on our way to the coast. I love the symmetry of its canopy and the sky above it was boiling and growling – a precedent of a heavy rainstorm which followed. The sky was enhanced in post-production to add to the drama.
The next two images were taken in Weston-Super-Mare as MrsM and I spent the best part of a day walking through the town and along the seafront. The weather was very changeable with blocks of sunlight travelling quickly through the landscape as in the photograph “Low Tide” followed by ominous storm clouds that came in across the Bristol Channel and over the town heading inland, as can be seen in “Waiting for the Storm”. Immediately after this image was taken heavy rain lashed down followed by a hail storm. We took refuge in one of the numerous and curiously British shelters along the promenade, but not before we were soaked.
All photographs were taken with a Nikon D800 and a Nikkor 24-120 f/4.0.
Today I was at Earlswood Lakes, Solihull with the Fuji X-E2 and the Fujinon 18-55 zoom lens.
Although in the very early morning, the weather looked quite promising, by the time I got to the lakes, there was a chill wind and a sometimes moody sky that promised but did not give rain. There were not many people at the lakes, one or two walking the ubiquitous family dog and three or four fishermen waiting for a catch.
Although there are houses around the lakes, the quietness, sombre light and plaintiff cries of gulls and geese gave an isolated air to the area.
I was shooting in manual exposure mode as usual, and I still missed not having the EV dial working in this mode. I don’t intend use this camera too often (I bought it for holidays abroad so I don’t have to lug my Nikon kit around), so I’m still getting used to it and its taking time. It’s a great camera that gives superb results, but I just don’t find it so intuitive as my Nikons, but then again I don’t use it as much as them. I’ll get there I’m sure.
The shot below was taken looking down the length of the Engine Pool.
It wasn’t easy on this overcast day to get a decent shot of clouds, so I had to resort to post processing to get the tones to come out. I actually quite like the Turner-esque swirl of the clouds and the colours, especially the little patch of off-white on the left.
I finally felt well enough to get out and drive somewhere on Sunday 26 October. I had been taking elephant strength antibiotics for a week for the infection in my tooth and on the Saturday it felt as though they were doing some good.
So my wife and I drove down to Stowe Gardens for a bit of a walk. One of our favourite NT prioperties, a beautiful place in any season, and you even get to look at the posh, private, expensive (and very impressive) Stowe school where the wealthy and wise (in that order I think) can to send their kids. Camera-wise, I took my D800 and the 18mm-35mm f/3.5 wide angle lens, hoping to get a few decent images.
The weather was constantly changing until finally the rain started to sleet in sideways across the drained octagon lake and then up the hill on to the roped-off cricket pitch. It was quite a sight. The sun broke through the cloud at one point and highlighted the rain as it slewed in across the sleeping wicket to the little Stowe church in the trees. The shower stopped as quickly as it started.
Every now and again, heavy clouds tumbled in over Stowe and the image below shows a shot I took whilst looking towards the Gothic Tower in the distance.