Goose – 286/365

I think “Goose” has been hanging about under the M56 at some point!

Today old faithful Google Maps took me to a locaton just to the side of the M56, a place called the “Salt Works Playing Fields”, because on the map I could see some woodland, wetland, and the River Weaver all just off the back of the playing fields.

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I needed some water for todays plan, to have a play with my polarising filter, and so with the location having wetlands, lakes and a river, I felt confident of a couple of opportunities to cut through some glare on the water.

The composition above, and below, I really like, although the effect of the polarising filter cant really be seen. Though the reflections are pretty strong on the water, even in the hugely diffused light from the thick cloud cover and constant drizzling rain.

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I used a gap in the trees to frame up a pylon in the distance, just for a bit of extra interest. I’m pretty sure this scene will really come to life in the next couple of days, with the leaves turning yellow and brown. Under the right light I think it could be really special.

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After the wetlands and lake didn’t really give me what I wanted (though I did do some polarising experimenting, more on that later), I wandered off to see if the river held any interesting shots.

It was seriously muddy underfoot, and it made me think how I haven’t really aged at all in some respects, over the past 30 years…….. you see as a kid I would go out, get muddy, go home and get told off by my mum. Now, as an adult, I go out, get muddy, go home and get told off by my wife. Leopards and spots spring to mind!

Anyway, the river did hold some nice views, but again as I’ve learnt in this journey the light really does dictate whats good, and whats bad to photograph, and landscapes weren’t on the cards today; the sky was largely just flat grey, and as a result so was the light. I’ve dubbed these days “grime days” becase stuff like todays main shot work much better than wild landscapes; stuff thats a little bit urban, or grungy, graffiti under a bridge is a classic example!

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So thats what I turned my attentions to, the underside of an M56 motorway bridge, crossing the River Weaver, and some graffiti, for todays photograph. The polarising filter came into good use for the shot too, making the reflected graffiti nice and clear in the puddle below.

Just on the polarising filter, here are two shots taken with the filter at full effect, and minimum effect, along with the settings I used. Everything was shot hand held today, but I tried to get the same frame for both shots.

First, the shot with no polarising effect:

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18mm – f/6.3 – 1/125 – ISO800

Then the shot with the polarising increased:

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18mm – f/6.3 – 1/30 – ISO800

It looks a lot sharper, but thats mainly due to the extra light from the shutter speed reduction (the filter cuts light by approx 1 stop, and I probably over compensated that), but the main thing is the view you get through the water, where the polarising effect is working its magic.

I use polarised sunglasses in my carp fishing a lot for this same reason, it cuts straight through the surface glare, and you can literally see through the water much better. I’ve kept the edit as faithful to natrual as possible, and the first image is pretty much exactly as it looked in the real world today.

However, as you can see in the second image the underwater aspect has all of a sudden come to life, and we can now see the weed under the water. A whole new world is revealed!

Learnings – a few things today, I really tried with a couple of landscape shots, but if the light isn’t there you just cannot force it, and going forwad I’m going to be strict with my self and pick subjects I know will fit the conditions.

Another new location discovered today too, and if I’d have walked further down the track, I’d have come to a spot where the River Mersy, the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Weaver all merge; there has to be an awesome image there, doesn’t there?

Of course, more experimenting with my new filter taught me some lessons too, about how to get the best out of it. Its a bit fiddly if I’m honest, getting the angle of the polarisation perfect, becasue the filter is just a touch too stiff to twist and adjust, and that throws the focus off, but I think its loosening off the more I use it, so hopefully that wont be a long term problem. If it is, I’m sure I’ll find a way around it.

Hope you’ve had a good weekend, talk tomorrow.


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