Skip to main content

Wadsley Common

I recently decided to practice my use of the full manual controls of my camera, rather than sticking it in aperture priority mode with full evaluative metering. Spot metering, an old 28mm M42 mount lens with aperture ring and manual focus, and full manual control of ISO and shutter was the order of the day. As part of this practice, I also decided to try and improve my use of the zone system, pioneered by the great Ansel Adams. Of course, I remembered to invert the process for digital and expose for the highlights, process for the shadows.

One of the first things I came across was a very rude horse. It seemed nice enough, until it repeatedly turned its back to me, farted, then turned back to resume staring at me. Charming.

IMG_8869 IMG_8864

Fortunately there was also a much friendlier horse.


This chap wouldn't leave me alone! So intent on gaining my attention was he that every time I raised my camera to my eye, he tried to push it out of the way with his nose. I got quite a few shots like this:

IMG_8877 (1)

I'll post some more of him later. He seemed to quite like being in the centre of the picture so I took a few more. Moving on, I found that I was on a very pretty little lane with the city of Sheffield in the background.


IMG_8878 (1)


Leaving the path and heading further up the common I decided to leave the beaten track and headed up a rather rocky and unstable path.

IMG_8882 IMG_8886


Thankfully it was worth it. I got some splendid views over Sheffield, both the city and the countryside.




Moving on, there was obviously plenty of foliage. Some of it was very green.



Some of it was burned or missing.



But much of what was there was very brightly coloured indeed, and very nice to look at.



All in all a very pleasant stroll indeed. I think my control of exposure is improving, making sure that I manage to include the maximum amount of detail so that processing is easier. No blown out skies for me! I also created a new Aperture preset that boosts the contrast without stretching the mid-tones too thinly. I think it works pretty well.


Popular posts from this blog

Fairy Lights

Street lights at night can be very pretty. For someone who lives close to the centre of a large city, skirting round the edge of the town centre can provide a host of beautiful views at night. One advantage to using a wide open lens when taking these pictures is the capture of bokeh, or creative blur. An extreme example is shown to your right; a mass of coloured circles that roughly represent the city they are part of. A more subtle example, of course, is in the picture of the day at the top of this post. The lights cluster around the top of the leaves like fireflies, obviously part of a cityscape but at the same time abstract. The extreme out of focus image is a blurred version of the picture on the left. A view over Sheffield from Pitsmoor, looking up Netherthorpe Road and up to the university. Even when the buildings are focussed (roughly; I'm still practicing) the lights take on the shape of the lens's aperture. I try to incorporate some foreground focus wh

Shooting the Enterprise

I was recently asked if I could help out providing an image for a magazine article about stress management. For reasons as yet undiscovered the requested image would be of the USS Enterprise flying through a storm in space. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time (just a couple of hours), but I did have a very nice model of the Enterprise D I could use to build the image around. Thinking fast, I rigged up a rather slapdash rig consisting of a black reflector backdrop, an umbrella and stand from which dangled the model by a thread, and a couple of strobes. One light above, diffused, to provide the key light, and another, reflected and lower power, to fill some of the very dark shadows. It ended up all looking something like this: Using a fast shutter, f/16 and cunning flash positioning I managed to keep the background black and give the model suitably textured lighting so it didn't have that flat, uniform, shadowless appearance of, well, a model. The narrow aperture obv

Another canal walk

The sun has started being a little more present lately, so some mornings are actually quite pleasant. On one such morning I decided to have a wander up the canal. The clouds made everything look a bit Toy Story, and the low sun gave a lovely light and contrast to everything else. Of course, it wasn't sunny everywhere. But even in the darker places, such as right underneath Leeds railway station, the sun had a go at peeking in.