Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

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This is an old favourite from three years ago – almost to the day! I took it from the window of the train in late November 2014 as I was travelling down from Inverness to London.

It’s a beautiful scenic spot and I’ve taken several similarly-framed shots since as I’ve passed by the same area but I’ve never managed to recreate the calm serenity of the atmospheric layers of misty blues visible on that particular morning… it seems to have been one of those magical moments of time and place coinciding perfectly, and I’m just so glad I captured it when I did.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental Autumn – Motion Blur

 

This week’s photo challenge from the guys at the Daily Post is Experimental, so I went out for a walk with my camera this afternoon to try to capture the inevitable abundance of autumn leaves in a slightly differently way than usual, by experimenting with motion blur.

I initially tried to get some shots of leaves moving in the breeze, but I just don’t seem to be able to get the hang of using an ND filter to slow down the exposure time – I only got one reasonable shot out of a lot more than I’d care to admit to…

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Then I thought I’d experiment with the HDR setting coupled with still having the aperture closed all the way to see if that worked any better, but no, the end results just look weird…

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So instead I experimented with trying out a zoom-burst effect in a dimly-lit leafy tree-lined lane – no ND filter, no HDR setting, just ISO-0160, f/22 on Aperture priority, and zooming as smoothly as possible while the shutter is open. I’ve tried this technique a couple of times before, indoors, each time on a bunch of flowers in a vase, but I’ve never tried it outdoors before…

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As ever it took several attempts to find the right spot along the lane – no light at all made the final images too dull, but too much light blows out the highlights – and I also had to find the right rate of turning the zoom, and in the right direction. Now I’m home I can’t remember whether turning steadily from telephoto to wideangle, or wide-angle to telephoto was best – one gave the above result, the other created a lighter, finer streakier, less recognisable image, like the one below…

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Daily Prompt: Create

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Being a creature of habit, I tend to walk the same local walks regularly so many of my images tend to be variations on a theme of the same basic scenery. So yesterday I tried to be a bit more adventurous and use the heavy dark foliage hanging down above my head to help create a kind of natural frame for my landscape views. I’m not sure how successful this has turned out, but my experiment seemed to fit today’s prompt word perfectly… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Create

A Grave Reality…

old-gravestone

A Grave Reality…

My death once brought me peacefully to rest

Six feet beneath the ground kept safe from harm

Dark fertile soil packed tight across my chest

A covering of leaves to keep me warm

I’ve lain beneath my heavy quilt of green

Tucked up in Mother Earth’s last warm embrace

Till gravestone legend, weathered and worn clean

Shows few marks now on roughened blasted face

I’ve lain here for what feels eternity

My empty sockets staring up in vain

No living soul exists who once knew me

No memory of mortal life remains

As seasons change, I watch each passing year

Whole centuries roll by while I lie here…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

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Sometimes its fun to mix things up a bit photographically, but I really love the natural order inherent in the distinct layers of a landscape – a clear strip of foreground, a generally more interesting strip of middle-ground, and an undulating strip of background topped off with a beautiful blue sky, all together creating a harmonious blend that never fails to delight the eye  ❤

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order