ARCHIVE 251 – MIST LIFTING, HERONS GREEN
October 7, 2016 18 Comments
Driving through the Chew Valley, heading for the Mendip Hills, I came out onto an open stretch of road beside Chew Valley Lake and was suddenly enveloped in thick mist. But over to my left the sun was starting to rise, the mist was lifting and changing colours in the most visually seductive ways – and I swerved into a layby, jumped out and started taking pictures.
I was there for about an hour, and this is the first of a short series of images from that misty morning. I love images with little detail, and the telezoom that I’m married to was just right for picking out scenes in that warm softness.
Chew Valley Lake is a large reservoir, the 5th largest artificial area of water in the UK. It was opened in 1956, to supply Bristol with drinking water. It has many memories for me because it was here, in 1967, that two school friends first opened my eyes to birds and birdwatching, and so set me on a path and interest that continued through to 2002. I no longer go birdwatching, but I retain a deep love and feeling for birds, and see them as an essential facet of all land-, water- and skyscapes.
Click onto the image to see a larger version in a separate window – certainly recommended.
D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 78mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
UPDATE: ask me the sorts of pictures I enjoy taking and scenes like this would be high on the list. I get a real buzz from pointing telephoto lenses at scenes like this.
Why do I like this? Well, first, its a Minimalist scene, there’s really not a lot of hard detail here, not a lot to get a real, visual grasp on, and to me it is the richer for that – the essence of the phrase “less is more”, perhaps. Its just a duck, swimming in front of some trees which are all but shrouded in some glowing mist. Then its a natural scene (although the body of water is actually an artificial reservoir) and Nature is always big with me – although, having said that, I do seem to be swinging more towards built environments, city photography, since getting a smaller and handier new camera, the Fujifilm X-T1. I’ve done a lot of city photography in the past, often in pursuit of abstract studies.
But, anyway, here it is. A calm scene, something taking us away from “the busy modern lifestyle”. Was that my mobile phone? I don’t know, I’ve got it switched off, and the greeting on its answerphone is “Go away!”.
And, lastly, would this image work without the duck? Well, put your finger over the bird and its wake, and see. For me it still works, becoming an even more Minimalist study, something on the lines of – although still far from – a Monet maybe? For you, this may not work, this may be a subtraction too far. What do you think?