Today I went for a quick walk down the wonderfully named “Wigg Island”, with the aim of going further down through the country park than I did the last time I visited, in the post “Cross Over“, to see what was there.
Looking on Google earth, I hoped to get something more of the Meresy River flood plan, and of course the bridges down there.
By the way, I have alwas been confused by the “island” bit of the name, but having seen on Google earth that the country park is flanked on one side by the River Mersey, and the Manchester Ship Canal on the other, I realised it is of course an island. I’ve never wondered about the Wigg bit of the name, I just think that its cool, and thats enough for me!
The sky was drab again today, but I’m not going to complain, its just nice to get out and about, and the many changing moods of the sky help change the feel of the whole landscape anyway; thanks to the weather you never really know what a view will look like from one day to the next.
Turns out, there is quite a bit further down the park, including a large area of marsh and wetland, which is home to loads of bird life, and insects. No doubt all sorts of other animals too. Some sections were completely closed off to the public, which I was really pleased about, its great to see habitats being preserved.
Looking back towards the Mersey Gateway Bridge, from an angle I’ve never seen it from before, it looked as imposing as ever, but also the old bridge also sat in the distance framed by its arches.
I really like the composition above, I think I could improve on it in the future, and at sunset I imagine it looks trully spectacular!
As with the photograph above of the old and new bridges, where I placed a pool of water in the foreground to balance the scene, I used the bush in this photograph to do a similar thing. I just felt the huge bridge construction needed somthing substantial in the foreground to balance the composition.
I think the pool of water actually works best, plus you get a hint of the bridge reflected in the water too. I’ll definitely be going back to have another go at this scene, one day.
Something different from me here, not quite a blck and white image, but totally de-saturated of colour, so there is just the fiantest hints of colour in the water and of course the sky. The composition didn’t work as well as I imagined it would, but I still thought it had a mood, and a story to tell. Pulling the colour out and emphasising the swan as the focal point in the fairly busy image, I think helped make it work.
As I got to the far end of the park, and the wetland started to outweigh the dry land, I saw what I thought was a really interesting composition, using the cooling towers in the distance.
Again, the landscape between me and the cooling towers wasn’t full of interest, marshland essentially. So I walked along a bit more, with my eyes fixed on the ground my side of the water.
I came across a small bunch of daisy type flowers near the waters edge, and I thought if I climb down and get close to them, and shoot the scene low to the ground that might be what I’m looking for.
Sure enough, I feel the pretty, delicate flowers hold strong against the big, heavy industry in the background, and it gives an interesting contrast for lots of reasons.
There was a final treat in store for me, as I doubled back from the end of the park, I noticed a chap I’d said hello to on my way down, appear from the bushes on the left.
As I got close to the place he emerged from, I could see a small track leading up into the undergrowth and trees, and it was clearly purpose built, that was clear from the wood lined path.
So I followed it, up into the woods, and it emerged in a small clearing with a bird hide in it, a bird hide with two levels! The lower level was covered, so good shelter from the rain, and the upper level, where I headed first naturally, gave an outstanding view of the marsh land. From up there, I could see all manner of birds, and I will 100% be back on a bright sunny day to try and photograph some.
As it was, I got another photograph with contrasting emotions, some beetles eating a leaf, with the huge cooling towers blurred into the background.
Learnings – I learnt a lot about compositon today, and balancing scenes with key elements in them. Being honest, I’m not blown away by the cooling tower photographs, but, I feel very close to capturing an amazing image from that location, using the same composition but at sunrise, or sunset.
If you look at the two here, you’ll notice the white balance is different, and thats becase I wanted to see how it would look with a cool tone to it (how the scene actually was), and with a warm tone to it (tweaked in post processing). This has told me that a warm glow at sunset or sunrise, would really bring the image to life, and I’m looking forawrd to trying to capture it in the near future.
On another note, it always brings a strong set of emotions to me, seeing heavy industry and the massive bridge, next to wildlife and the natrual world; however its important to remember, these areas are often preserved as a result of these constructions. Its not ideal, but we are on this planet, along with all the other living things, and as with everything balance and respect is the key.