9 April 2010
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Landscape Buses

It’s been a busy old month – lots of bits of work on websites, a couple of trips out to look at locations for our workshop and finally our first Peak District workshop – oh, and a two hour talk to Exposure Leeds and finally finally, the best photographic accessory I’ve yet bought; a four wheel drive camper van! So you’re doing a bit of a bus stop experience, nothing happens for ages and then they all come at once – in this case, it’s blog posts instead of buses.

Backing up a bit, all that talk of discontinuing this and stopping that got us all a little miserable and it was only the introduction of a new large format film that lifted our spirits a bit (Hopefully more on that in a future post). So it was with great pleasure that I finally got out to take some pictures (and apologies to regular readers for the delay in posting, once you’ve skipped a couple of weeks worth of blog entries – skipping a whole month is nothing!). Oh – and as a teaser, I’m hearing rumours that Fuji may be doing a U turn on discontinuing quickload! Nothing confirmed yet so don’t get your hopes up. It sounds like they were stopping it in all markets but Japan at first but they may reconsider and export some after all. It also sounds like Acros may still be available in Quickload (Robert White have a shipment coming in – expect high prices though).

I won’t try to recap the whole of the last month in one blog post (noone will bother reading past the 34th paragraph anyway) so I’ll start of with a photo from a trip me and Dav made to Padlyage Surprise Edge View Gorge (Dav says he’s going to get me a map so until then it’s a random peak district name generator) back at the start of March. The idea was to try to capture some promotional material for the courses and so we drove out to surprise view on the friday evening and watched a beautiful sunset over snowy fields.

Two parts of the picture caught my attention, the first was the large crystals of snow and how the wind and moisture had created tails on the bits of heather sticking up. The second was the beautiful textured lines on the rock in the background and how they contrasted with the patches of snow.

Not having worked in the snow very often, my initial thought was that I was unlikely to be able to capture the dynamic range between the dark of the rock and the highlights in the snow. The ‘zone meter’ I have pasted onto my Pentax spotmeter told me that I should just be able to fit the range inside provia with a 1 stop soft grad over the snow in the foreground. As it turned out, because I was so close to the foreground, bellows factor meant the foreground was going to be 1/2 to 2/3 of a stop darker anyway and so I ended up only using a 1 stop hard grad over the top of the picture.

This top grad was deployed late on as I sat waiting for the sun to appear below the clouds that were hanging above the horizon. I had a decision to make though, I could see the sun was going to appear soon from the rays of light appearing but should I wait for it to highlight to whole band on the horizon? I had a funny feeling that the sun would just die before it appeared because I could just see a band of cloud just above the horizon too.. I decided to take a photograph early to ‘get one in the bag’. It turned out I was right and the light show was over .. or so I thought. A bit later a great thunderhead appeared, back lit by the red setting sun.. Wonderful evening..

I’ve also got the film version of the Brimham Rocks shot I took on New Years day processed and I’ve included it at the end of this post.

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