About Rachael

Photography enthusiast.

‘God rays’ in a Godly place

Surrey Hills

f/11, 1/125, 35mm, ISO 100

More pictures of the dramatic light we enjoyed on Friday’s photoshoot at St. Martha’s-on-the-Hill, Chilworth, Surrey.  My title is a little tongue-in-cheek as I am ambivalent about the expression ‘God rays’ which seems a simplification, with hints of dumbing-down, of the perfectly adequate term, ‘crepuscular rays’. I wrote a post about these rays and you can see it here.  As I discussed, one can understand why these spectacular rays have over the centuries been associated with a higher power.

Crepuscular rays

f/11, 1/8, 90mm, ISO 100

St. Martha’s is a lovely little church perched on the top of a hill with a panoramic view of Surrey.  A local ‘tall tale’ is associated with the spot, in which St. Martha’s church and St. Catherine’s chapel, across the River Wey valley, were built by two giants, sisters named, of course, Martha and Catherine.  According to the story, they had only one tool, a hammer, which they shared by tossing it across the valley.

Surrey Hills

f/11, 1/30, 35mm, ISO 100

My 365/31 is from 2009, a detail from the interior of a local cafe, Il Siciliano, now under different ownership, name and decor. The Scarface mural didn’t last long and I speculated that perhaps they’d run foul of copyright issues and had to remove it.  While I do not condone the breach of copyright, I must confess that the mural was nice while it lasted.

Local cafe interior

365/31

My 365/32 is also from 2009.  I had a lovely Sunday walk with my camera that afternoon.  The evening was bitterly cold, and overnight we had one of the heaviest snowfalls I could remember in the South of England. Needless to day, I was obliged to go out the next day and shoot the same views all over again, transformed as they were by their fresh blanket of white.

River Thames

365/32

Felicitous Friday

Graveyard and view

f/11, 1/30, 33mm, ISO 100, .6 hard ND grad, circ. polariser

Last year, Jenifer Bunnett and I went out ‘shooting’ together most weeks and Tuesday eventually became our regular day.  This year, we have added a second day, Friday.  So far, our Fridays have proved felicitous and we have been blessed with interesting light. Today was no exception.  An early morning hike up St. Martha’s Hill brought some glancing rays and the remains of the previous night’s snowfall. The evening’s sunset at Newlands Corner yielded an interesting cloud formation over distant St. Martha’s Hill, where we had been in the morning.  As with last Friday, I have a lot of images to process and will share some more over the next few days.

Landscape after sunset

f/11, 0.8sec, 24mm, ISO 100, .6 hard ND grad

Catching up on my 365 redux project, 365/30 is a shot from this day in 2011, seeds of the wild clematis, also known as Old Man’s Beard or Traveller’s Joy. 365/29 is from 2009; the colour version was one of the first images I licensed with Getty and it has done well for me over the years.

wild clematis seeds

365/30

grave stone

365/29

Weather repeats itself

Send water meadows

365/28

Today we have had dramatic skies, glancing light and scattered showers, the sort of changeable weather that landscape photographers love. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go out and capture it. But, on this day last year, we had exactly the same weather, and I was lucky enough to be out in it then. Here are three pictures from that very enjoyable day out in the water meadows and on the Wey Navigation towpath near Send, Surrey.

Surrey landscape

365/28

Surrey landscape

365/28

My 365/27 is also in black and white, a picture of the orchard at RHS Wisley, taken on an unusually sunny 27th January 2009.

RHS wisley

365/27

The morning that just keeps giving

Wey Navigation

I am still going through my files from Friday’s epic dawn shoot. I have enough to keep me going for quite a while. I hope this top one conveys something of the post-dawn tranquility I experienced on the banks of the Wey Navigation between Newark and Ripley.

Surrey landscape

This second image was actually taken much later in the same day, nearer to sunset. The frost was mostly gone but there was a subtle hint of mist in the distance. I was attracted to the way the grass was catching the light; the crow on the fence was the icing on the cake. I just had time for one exposure before it flew away.

By complete contrast, my 365/26 is from this day in 2009. I had gone into Guildford with a friend, to do some shopping. My camera was an encumbrance I could have done without but the demands of 365 made me bring it, albeit reluctantly. I snapped these tulips, and it really is a snap. But, when I shared it on Flickr, it caught Getty’s eye and became one of the first images in my stock portfolio.

flowers

365/26

As I promised only to post images never before shared, or to re-edit old ones, I have added a light vignette to this and some extra clarity. Cheating? Maybe, but it’s the only file I could find!

 

 

Deer in frost

wey navigation

Another picture from Friday’s fantastic, frosty day out.  As I was taking a landscape shot,  two deer took flight across the meadow.  Of course, my wide lens hadn’t a hope of catching them, but I quickly changed to my 70-200mm lens and hoped I’d find more.  Luckily, I did.

wey navigation

Yesterday, I shared the colour version of this shot, also from Friday but I rather like this tinted black and white edit too.   And it is a handy segue from frost to black and white to my 365/25, from this day in 2009:

car

365/25

 

Perfect morning

Surrey landscape

Yesterday morning, I had a chance to capture dawn over Newark Priory. It’s a shot I’d had in my mind for about 5 years and the conditions were perfect. For more about Newark Priory, see here.

Afterwards, I pottered about on the Wey Navigation towpath and collected some wintery shots.  I am writing a book about the Navigation and these shots should fit nicely. Altogether, a successful morning’s shooting.

Wey Navigation

Wey Navigation

365/23

My 365/23 is from last year.  Three modes of transport, four if feet count (there’s a pedestrian on the footbridge).  Taken at the junction of the Wey Navigation and the Basingstoke Canal. For a fuller post about this shoot and the history of this location, click here.

Surrey landscape

365/24

365/24 is from 2010, a brief moment of good light at the end of what had been a grey, uninspiring day.  This is the Millennium Glasshouse at RHS Wisley.

Garlic, twice

two garlic bulbs

365/22

By 22nd January 2009, I was resorting to food for my 365.  Two garlic bulbs, edited and shared twice, in 2009 and now.

My photography is mainly outdoors, where I am happiest.  But, although I don’t tend to make still life images (perhaps you can tell!), I very much admire the work of others in this genre.  It seems to me, the best still life photographers have not only a superb technical knowledge of photography and lighting, but also a designer’s eye.  Respect.