Out and About: Earlswood Lakes

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.





Out and About – Stowe

It was off to a favourite haunt today as I headed south to Stowe Gardens. It was a bit of a last minute choice as I realised that it was half-term week here in the UK and the schools were on holiday. That means virtually everywhere is going to be over-run with parents, baby-buggies, pre-teens and everything in-between, not to mention the 2.4 dogs that is apparently the new British requisite for a happy middle-class family. I must say that some of the mums these days would give the sherpas of Nepal a run for their money, the way they negotiate the Peak and Lake District hills and fells with tri-wheeled buggies, changing matts, nappy bags and food hampers, whilst dragging a labrador tied to the handle of the buggy.

Anyway, I chose Stowe because it is a big place and I hoped to get some photographs without a bright red water-proof jacket appearing at some point in an image. It was busy, but not too bad when I got there but by the time I left a couple of hours or so later there were hoards of families descending on the gardens and trails. The day was very sunny although cold and this obviously helped to entice people out.

I took the D800 with me today, together with the 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 wide angle and my old mate the 50mm f/1.8. I have said on this blog before that I am not a huge fan of the wide angle, I seem to struggle with it and end up composing and taking images that I invariably crop in post-processing. But today I enjoyed using it – a lot. I revelled in being able to get most of a monument into one shot and also shooting the wide vista shots across the lakes. I changed to the 50mm later on, and overall I had a very pleasant day.

The postcard-type image below shows the octagon lake in the foreground and Stowe School in the distance. And… I did have to clone out a bright red anorak on the far-side of the lake.