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Somerset Levels Gale

By brian1208
As you will see, I'm not a natural "Landscaper" and as I have a landscape competition coming up soon I'd welcome some critical input on this.

It was blowing about force 8-9 whilst we were there and I wanted to show both the strength of the wind and the stormy light that was prevailing. (Even with f8 and 1/500th sec the leaves on the trees are still not sharp but I thought that added to the effect?)

I used the curve of the dyke + position of the fence as part of the composition, leading back to the trees.

I've done very little to this, a small crop to remove some bushes from the left side of the Willow, set colour balance to "Cloudy and lightened the grass a little + a small "USM")

Tags: Landscape and travel Flash and lighting

Voters: Scutter, IMAGESTAR, mudge and 10 more

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Scutter Plus
10 1.7k 6 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2009 4:01PM
Brian, I love the light. The fence pulls your eye across the picture and up to the first tree nicely.
To portray the stormy weather more strongly I think I would have gone for a much lower shutter speed to exaggerate the movement but that would have meant a tripod and filters to get the speed down with the amount of ambient light. I might also have been tempted to try a lower view point (if the knees allowed such contortions!)
Wel that's my 2d's worth, I hope you get some more useful comments soon Smile
Regards, Ben

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brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2009 4:37PM
thanks for the comments and your mod Ben.

I agree with about the shutter speed but as we were on a holiday walk about the tripod remained behind in the Hotel so it was hand-held and I needed the speed to stop, not camera shake but, "Brian Shake" in the wind

My Knackered Knees unfortunately do not permit crouching down (and the ground was soaking wet and thick with Somerset clay) - see, I said I wasn't a proper Landscaper, they suffer for their art Smile
collywobles 14 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2009 5:00PM
I like the pic but I think you might have brought the sky out a bit more - even if you overlay another sky
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2009 5:07PM
Thanks for your comment Colin, I can see what you mean but I have a problem with that sort of manipulation, my old fashioned mind thinks of it as cheating! Wink

I'm trying hard to develop my photographic skills so that I get the image I want with the minimum of post processing (and even then I try to keep it to traditional darkroom levels.)

I realise it puts me at a disadvantage to most landscapers (and photographers in general) and members in my club take great delight in calling me a Dinosaur Smile )
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2009 5:15PM
I've put up a mod of my own taking your comments on board, see what you think
janeez Plus
9 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2009 7:46PM
Hi Brian.
Have to admit I am not the worlds greatest at landscape so hope you don't mind my input.
To the right of the image is an 'empty' space. Try cropping this out to fill the picture with trees as a background. Also although the sky is a lovely shade of blue there is very little drama going on so crop out this down to the tallest tree. Finally if the weather was that windy then why not try a longer shutter speed and get all that fantastic movement with the branches and leaves. Sorry just realised everyone else told you to slow the shutter speed!
If its helpful, when I am out with non photographers I just explain what I am going to be doing and for them not to wait as I will catch them up. They usually hang around anyway to see what the image is like when I've taken it. Never underestimate the interest other people take in your hobby! Smile
janeez Plus
9 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2009 7:54PM
Up loaded a mod. Hope you like the new diagonals. Trees in the background with opposite diagonal with the fence. Smile
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2009 9:14PM
Thanks for the mod Jane, I agree it makes the composition stronger.

Could really use the slower shutter speed that day, as I said earlier, the wind was blowing me about as well as the trees so it was "go for what works" rather than what is maybe best at the time Smile

Something to remember if there's a next time though

Edit - just realised what you said about the sky being "A lovely shade of blue", I suspect we may have our screens set differently, on mine its a threatening shade of grey with visible cloud structure. Are you seing any of that?
janeez Plus
9 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2009 12:15AM
Not a definate shade of grey. The sunlight makes the sky look bluish on my screen. Time to calibrate methinks! Thank you for letting me know Smile

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