Woodland Wander – 223/365

After our lovely evening out last night to celebrate our ten years of marriage together, Holly and I decided to stop off for a little wander on the way home. We first stopped at Manley Mere, to see if it looked like somewhere we might take the girls in the future.

It had a massive inflatable adventure thingy floating in the lake, so that was confirmed then, the girls would love it! So we swung the car around and headed onwards.

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I did suggest I show Holly Helsby Hill, but she rightly pointed out I’ve taken a couple of photographs up there before, so we did a classic “head off into the unknown”, and pointed the car in the direction on Delamere Forest. Again, somewhere I’ve photographed before but it is so vast one person would have a job to explore it all, so we headed in a direction neither of us have been before, to see what we could find.

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Sure enough, as we went deeper into the woods we started to see interesting clearings and tracks heading off into the forest.

We checked out a couple of spots, but they didn’t feel quite right, and so we headed on again. I have to admit, it was really nice being just Holly and I on this mini adventure. I’m sure the girls would have enjoyed it, especially Izzy, but from time to time its nice to just enjoy eachothers company. Besides, having spoken to the girls earlier in the morning they were having a whale of a time with their gran anyway!

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Eventually we found a spot with a congregation of people, so surely there must be something interesting to look at, we thought!

Anyway, turns out it was a popular point on the Sandstone Trail. So, having parked up we headed in the opposite direction to the crowds, and into the deeper woodland.

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Holly took the shot above of me, I was explaining how surprising it is the distance you need to be away from a subject at 50mm focal length. I told her to take the camera and have a look; and she took this great shot of me!

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It ws nice for us both to jsut wander through the woods, looking for things to photograph, and we spent a bit of time around these logs. It was an interesting juxtaposition, between the tall trees around us growing strong, and the now lifeless logs, cut up and laid on the ground.

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The logs did look impressive though, all stacked up, and I wondered what they were destined to become next. I hoped they would become something fittingly grand, if they became tooth picks that wouldn’t seem right at all!

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Looking at the map of the Sandstone Trail, it starts not far from our house, so maybe we’ll have to look into that a little more, and give it a go one day.

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Learnings – the shot above, and todays main one, took the longest to capture. I used my 18-55mm lens, right the way out at 18mm to get the widest angle possible, but even that wasnt quite wide enough. So I edged ever further back into the undergrowth to get the scene I wanted.

What I really wanted was the row of logs at the bottom, and the full scale of the tall trees in the background, so the whole scene is pretty wide to be fair.

I used exposure braketing again, to capture as much detail as possible in the midday sun, and I’m pleased with the reuslt.

Somehting else I put into practice today, that I learnt from capturing the “Church View” image, was to set the image being saved to RAW only; where as I normally save RAW and Jpeg at the same time. I do this becasue its quicker and easier to review the Jpeg files, but then when I have my favourites I edit the RAW files, becasue they hold the most data, and detail.

The draw back is, that saving both files at once cuts the frame rate down on the camera, so when taking an exposure braketed shot often the first two shots are almost taken at the same time, and the third is half a second after. That might not sound like a long time, but with trees being blown in the wind the whole scene can change a lot, and it casues problems with maintaining the shapness where you want it to be. Setting to RAW only for me means that all three images are taken almost instantly.

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, and Holly and I have a new place to take the girls, so thats something for us all to lookforward to.


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