Jen and I enjoyed a wonderful shoot on Chatley Heath yesterday. For a short while, the sun burned through the early mist to cast its rays across the landscape. Chatley Heath is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and it is managed as a nature reserve by Surrey Wildlife Trust, a favourite charity of mine.
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree.
-Herman Hesse,Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte.
Still on an Autumn tack, I thought I’d share some seasonal shots of the different craft that can be found along the Wey Navigation in Weybridge.
Situated on the confluence of the Thames and the Wey, and with the Wey Navigation running through it as well, Weybridge has a lot of watercraft, of all shapes and sizes.
I am mostly content to admire them from the towpath, however.
Of course, there could only ever be one quotation for this post:
Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (1908)
Our very late Autumn this year has given so many opportunities to get out with the camera, I’ve hardly been able to keep up with downloading the images! These shots are from my outing last week with Jenifer Bunnett. She found this beautiful set of fishing lakes, Frensham Trout Fisheries, and, apart from a solitary fisherman, we had them to ourselves.
The presence of a waterfall was fortuitous as I had only just the day before taken delivery of my new Lee Filters!
I had a lot of fun experimenting with my five filters: the 105mm circ. polariser, .6 hard grad, .9 soft grad, .9 pro glass and Big Stopper. The good news was that I had remembered all I had learned on the workshop ten days earlier.
The bad news was the circ. polariser created a horrible vignette when I used it with my 16-35mm lens at 16-20mm. Hugely disappointing as that is my lens of choice for landscape work. I was advised to use my 24-105mm on the course so this problem did not come up then.
The tiny, corrugated iron, ‘mission’ church of St. George is in the hamlet of West End, near Esher in Surrey. It was built in 1879 on land given by Queen Victoria so that the poor labourers of the village might be able to worship without the steep, muddy climb into Esher. Despite its temporary nature, the church, which overlooks the cricket green, is currently 134 not out!
Many thanks to my friend, Tony Antoniou, who kindly popped round yesterday to re-calibrate my monitor and at the same time showed me how to get better results from the HDR facility in Photoshop CC. This photo is my first effort using the tool properly. Tony is a talented photographer with a flair for environmental portraits and image manipulation. Do pop over and have a look at his website.
Clearing out old files, still, I came across some shots of greenfly from May and June and thought they made a set of greedy, green, garden pests. With apologies to all the gardeners out there.
A couple of these shots are as much if not more about the background than the aphids themselves.
They are a little bit pretty seen singly like this? Not convinced?
Over on my Facebook page I am giving away a 2014 calendar to one winner chosen on Monday next week from those who nominate a Surrey beauty spot. Do visit if you’re local. I am planning to compile a list of nominated Surrey locations to photograph in 2014, with a view to making a 2015 calendar from the best images.