As I look outside at an autumnal rain shower hammering at my window this morning, I’m reflecting on the fact that somehow I managed to create something in each month during the summer that I was actually happy with. Looking back now I’m not even sure how I managed that given that I set out with purpose to take some images on no more than three or four occasions if that. However after a hopeful weather forecast I decided to get myself up to the Peak District to visit some views while the heather was in bloom and what I got was an additional unexpected treat at sunrise. I timed my arrival almost a little too optimistically and pulled my car over at the side of the road somewhere on the hills above Hathersage. The light was pretty spectacular by anyone’s account, the low layers of mist giving way to a full on pink and purple sunrise. The problem with the Peak District (or should I say the value of the Peak District?) is that it can be pretty featureless across certain views, a landscape stripped of most defining objects, a tundra with a handful of trees dotted around at best.
Some way off from where I was I could see a single tree cutting a nice silhouetted shape in the early light just above the mist. A little obvious perhaps, but these views are not easy to find across Warwickshire closer to home so I rolled out my 70-200mm and made the best of the conditions. The mist was gone within 20 minutes once the sun crept over the horizon…
What Really Makes The Photograph Work For Me?
I knew immediately that this would end up a wide 16:9 crop to accentuate that width, feeling of scale and to ensure the isolation of the tree was accentuated as much as possible. The colour was too good to pass up, it’s a bit of a cliche shot perhaps but it’s not one I can say I’ve got in abundance regardless.
So here’s why Mist Line is image of the month:
- This is a photograph all about horizontal layers and I love the way that nothing jars the eye here. The layers of mist in the lower half of the frame softened what would have been a very dark foreground and as such, the single tree is almost floating in the layers of cloud.
- The tree itself sits at the upper edge of the mist layer which means it’s defined without entirely standing out or being lost, a look I like very much here.
- No colour adjustments have been made here. I think may people don’t entirely believe that colours like this exist but it’s a totally ethereal experience when it happens, you have to be there maybe 30 minutes before the sun is anywhere near the horizon.
- Of course it’s an incredibly minimalistic image, no distractions, nothing else pulling on your eye so a central composition ensures the viewer is in no danger of looking anywhere else.
The Technical Setup
- Taken with the Nikon D800E
- Nikon 70-200mm f/4 @ 200mm
- f/11, ISO100, 1/2 second in misty conditions at 05:26hrs
- Shot in 14bit RAW, manual white balance
- Finished with Nik Color Efex Pro 4 and Adobe Photoshop CC
- No sharpening
I’m hoping the next few weeks makes things feel a little easier image wise, somehow I’ve not been feeling entirely optimistic about my photography, but I have enjoyed the time putting together the big print projects I undertook over the summer instead. At least I can say I have something to physically show people at the end of the year…