Sunday, 31 July 2016

City Walk - Photography Week 26 (2016)

Leaving the family shopping in Nottingham, I went searching for some urban landscapes along the city canal and the River Trent. With no particular objective in mind, I ended up with an eclectic panel of images selected for their colours, patterns, angles, and some stylised processing:


The city incinerator (second image displayed) probably deserves a harsh black and white treatment whilst the tones and shapes of the other two buildings worked best with a grainy mono finish:

Canal Reflections

The city canal is more of a modern waterside these days with many new buildings. The reflections in the water are forever changing depending on the strength of the wind, the light, or perhaps a passing boat:

Metal & Rust

At one point on the canal there is stretch of metal wall with some great rust colours and patterns. Unfortunately, it started to rain as I lined up the camera so I headed for some shelter having only managed a couple of compositions: 

Meadow Lane Bridge

I particularly liked the patterns and colours of the brickwork under the Meadow Lane canal bridge.

Trent Bridge

There are some soft tones in the stone embankment near to Trent Bridge:

City Ground Angles:

Across Trent Bridge is the City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest football club:

River Walk

The river walk continues passed the football ground towards Trent Fields and the National Water Sport Centre at Holme Pierrepont:


High Dynamic Range software combines images with different exposures to obtain detail in the shadows as well as highlights. Occasionally a subject suits this type of processing:

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Robin Hood Hill - Photography Week 26 (2016)

Robin Hood Hill and the top of Greaves Lane is one of the few places in the broad Sherwood Forest area where there is sufficient elevation to get above the landscape with uninterrupted views across the countryside. It is also ideal for weather watching:

On this occasion I was caught out by the weather as the blue skies and sunny fields turned dark and threatening:

Fortunately, I had not got as far as the summit of the hill before the rain started so I took a few record shots from the path and headed back to the car.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Southwell Trail, Part 2 - Photography Week 25

In a week dominated by pre and post EU referendum turmoil, photography became an oasis of tranquillity and pleasure.

This time of year I regularly consult my wildflower ID book: The Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe by Richard and Alastair Fitter. The illustrations by Marjorie Blamey are superb and they provided the inspiration to relook at the orchids I had found earlier in the week along the Southwell Trail. I particularly wanted to isolate the flowers from their natural background and create an more illustrated style finish to the final image.

To achieve this I used piece of mount board propped up behind the flowers and chose flat lighting conditions to avoid any strong shadows. Later I added a textured background, reduced the overall contrast and accentuating the outline of the flowers:

One of the footpaths from the Southwell Trail cuts across fields towards Kirklington. It passes over a footbridge with partial views of a large pond (part of the Hexgreave Estate). I have taken images from this vantage point before and it is the complexity of the compositions that I find interesting. I repeated a variation of the processing technique applied to orchids to achieve the final finish including a reduction in contrast, lightening the tones and accentuating edges:

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Southwell Trail, Part 1 - Photography Week 25 (2016)

The Southwell Trail is a former railway line which is now a nature reserve. It served the mining industry in area until the line was closed in the 1960's.

The trail and its associated footpaths have provided many hours of stress free photography over the years. I have never worried too much about the finer technical aspects of image capture along the trail preferring a simple point and shoot approach.

During the summer the trail becomes quite dark and tunnel-like in places as the leaf cover blocks much of the light:

The fields either side of the trail provide continued interest as the farming cycle turns. At this time of year the crops are starting to mature. This year's crop looks to be barley (or may be wheat - I am never totally sure which is which):

There are many wildflowers along the trail. Dog Roses (Rosa canina) are plentiful. There are some odd patches of poppies. I also spotted some orchid plants which I think are Common Spotted-orchids or maybe Heath Spotted-orchids?

An old wooden horse box trailer stands in one of the fields - ideal for textures and colour:

Some of the bridges over the trail have the inevitable graffiti marks and the odd cartoon character!

Trees in summer can be more difficult to capture. They can become very dark in the landscape losing some of branch shape under a mass of green leaves: