This morning, me and my little adventure side kick, went to explore a weir on the River Weaver. A location I’d never been to before, but that I’d spotted on Goggle Earth, and thought it looked interesting. I’m not actually sure if you’d call it a weir, but I’m going to.
So, ahead of family coming over to celebrate Izzys birthday, we set the sat nav and headed off into the unknown.
We had at the most, an our and a half, but the aim was to be an hour; so with the sat nav saying 20mins travel time, it would give us 20mins there to take a photograph and the remaining 20mins to travel back.
Ten minutes into the journey, the sat nav took us down a lane I didn’t know was there, but that was in an area I am very familiar with. This was unusual I thought, I wounder why I’ve never been down here before? It all became isntantly apparent, as I was met with “no public vehicle access” signs.
We would have to quickly re-think our plan.
So, we parked across the road in a pub car park, and we set off as fast as we could on foot. It looked to be about a mile and a half on foot, so with time agaisnt us this would have to be a good pace for me, and for Izzys little four year old legs.
Izzy, the trooper, wasn’t phased by the walk at all, and she marched on looking at the river, its birds, in every hedge and saging “good morning” to all the other walkers, and waving to the passing folk sailing their boats. It was great fun.
Eventually, we rounded a corner and the bridge we were heading for came into view. It was a long straight bit of path at this point, and even this far into our walk Izzy was still bouncing around all over the place!
When we got to the bridge, we stopped in the middle of it for 2mins, to take some photographs of a cormorant perched on a log, right in the middle of the river. I told Izzy “he might open his wings for us, lets watch a minute”.
He did indeed treat us to a show of his impressive wing span, and I used my long lens to try and get a close up shot. I took a few, and I also chanced a long exposure to flatten the water off a little, hoping the bird would stay still.
He did, mostly, just a slight head movement was all that took the shine off sharpness of the image.
The shot below is the longer exposure, just slightly unlucky on that head twitch, but I’m still pleased with the outcome from slightly crazy settings of f/29 – ISO100 – 0.5 second shutter – 300mm focal length.
Cormorant display over, we went onwards. We could hear the weir now, however we came across this really cool half sunken boat, and I tried to get some images of it. Had we the time, I’d have crossed the river, but we’d definately have been late for Izzys party, so instead I made the most of the composition I could from the side of the river we were on.
Sunken boat done, we finally headed to our main attraction, the weir! As we got closer a father and his three children were climbing an apple tree and picking a few apples. Something really lovely about that, dont you think?
The weir was pretty dangerous, so I asked Izzy to sit on the steps behind the railings, whilst I had a quick look for a photograph. The noise was awesome, and the view wasn’t bad either. Again, it was difficult to get the composition right, due to only having a small little wall to stand on, but again I made the most of what I could.
With that, we packed up and started the walk back. By now to be fair, Izzy was a little tired, so we alternated between her walking, me carrying her, and her riding on my shoulders; and thanks to that we made it back in double quick time.
As we got back to the car, the heavens opened and the rain poured down, just perfect timing, and a drop of luck; but yet another wonderful little adventure and a new location discovered to enjoy.
Learnings – It really was a beautiful walk this morning, and along the way I saw lots of spots that with a bit more time, will make for a really nice photograph.
Photography wise, the main thing I came away with today was the really “vanilla” weather, especially the sky. It just wasn’t doing anything, it was just a blank cover of grey cloud. That normally isn’t too much of a problem, becasue I can pull detail out in post production, however today there wasn’t even any detail to pull out. It was a case of balancing the crop to make sure the bland sky didn’t underwhelm the whole image.
The blank sky didnt help the light either, and a lot of the landscape reflected the sky, pretty flat. Still, I really enjoyed the walk, as did Izzy, and I am really pleased which some of the images too, especially the ones of the cormorants and lights across the weir.
The difficult compositions added to that challenging sky, but that’s the challenge of this adventure, conditions aren’t always ideal, and sometimes the ideal composition isn’t possible……but that’s when the challenge really comes out at its best, and you have to dig deep to find and create something.
p.s. I wonder how cool the weir looks at night with those lights on……..