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PhotoWalk 3 - Chilling Coastal Area - 28th April 2008

Rain Showers And Sunshine, A Great Mornings Walk

Chilling Coastal Area TrackThe morning of my third PhotoWalk I got up and it was raining. Hard. I took my son to school, then low and behold the sun came out, so I grabbed my camera and jumped into the car and headed to the Chilling Coastal Area, a small nature reserve in South Hampshire.

I parked in the car park, in a nice wooded area, then headed out towards the coast, where I was pretty sure there were some nice cliffs where the land is falling into the sea. I should have brought my wellies, and then the rain started, whipping it in in sheets off the sea. Crouching under the hedge rows I thought about turning back, but then the Sun came out and I soldiered on.

Anyway, it turned out to be a good walk, I captured some nice images, and if you want to take a look at them in Google Earth, why not Download My Chilling Coastal Walk Track.

I've put all the pictures below too. Feel free to click-thru to flickr and leave any comments, and if you find the video tutorials useful, please use the comment form at the bottom of the page.

 

And The Rain Came Down...
And The Rain Came Down....

As I started the walk these black clouds started to roll in, bringing a torrent of rain, forcing me to huddle under the hedge-rows. Need a tough brolly next time!

This is a HDR image, created from three exposures in Photomatix, then edited in Photoshop.

 

Not A Day For Ploughing...
Not A Day For Ploughing

I know this isn't a plough, but I don't know what it is, but I thought it was interesting.

Another HDR, that technique tends to bring out dramatic skies while keep lots of detail in the ground, you could achieve similar results by merging two exposures in Photoshop.

 

Tractor Tracks
Tractor Tracks

The Sun sowed itself and I spotted these tracks as I walked towards the coast. Because of the wind blowing the grass a HDR would have been tricky, but with a bit of playing around in Photoshop I think this single exposure is quite pleasing.

 

Tractor Tracks Adobe Photoshop CS3 Tutorial
I'm not sure why the egg timer replaces my cursor, but I am playing around with a few different screencast programs.

 

 

Job Nearly Done...
Job Nearly Done...

As I was walking there were loads of quite pretty flowers, but they were all very small and very close to the ground. I didn't fancy lying on the wet earth, so instead I set my camera to Super Macro, tightened up the aperture to expand the depth of field, the put the camera on the ground, pointing up at an angle, and shot blind.

I had to take quite a few frames to get some decent ones, but I really like this half-blown dandelion, with the clouds, blue-sky and some ground detail at the bottom of the frame. Next time I'll try to get more of the stalk into the picture.

 

Storm Coming
Storm Coming
This capture was actually at the end of my walk, the black clouds were rolling in again, but I liked the line the fence made and the different coloured fields. A hdr image.

 

Edge Of England
Edge of England

View from the top of the cliffs along the beach. Now I'm scared of heights, so just being this close to the edge gave me the jitters, even though the cliffs aren't very tall.

This, and all the other HDR's in this Photowalk are hand-held, I had to move fast because of the rain showers, so didn't want to take the time to set up my tripod. If you are shooting hand-held, and want a wide depth of field (by decreasing the aperture) you almost always have to increase the ISO setting on your camera to avoid blurring. It also helps to take a breath, then breathe out slowly as you're pressing the shutter (or using the shutter delay timer).

 

Shoring Up The Land
Shoring Up The Land

I really like this picture. Taken at the base of the cliffs, I had to lie on the ground to get the plant in the frame, and most of the cliffs. Too many of my landscape shots have poor fore-ground detail, but in this one I found something interesting.

In retrospect I should have tightened the aperture more and put the camera on a bean-bag so I could have had more of the shot in focus, the cliffs go soft as they get further away.

 

Reach For The Sky Boys!
Reach For The Sky Boys!

Another shot where I put the camera on the floor and shot blind. These flowers got a lot of touching up in Photoshop, but it's still a pleasing image.

Next time I'd like to get some more of the stalk, or ground detail into the frame. A few more clouds would have been nice too.

 

Reach For The Sky Boys! Photoshop Tutorial
Apologies for the quiet sound, I was doing this when everyone was asleep... Also I say that the image is edited in Photoshop CS, when it really was CS3. Sorry!

 

 

Red Cliffs
Red Cliffs

I know, they're orange, I don't know why I called them red!

The Sun was in front and to the right, so all sky detail has been lost, the gradient in the sky is down to the Cokin A Grey Grad I had fitted to my S5700. It would be nice to come back in the evening,, with the Sun in the opposite direction.

 

Power Station View
Power Station View

As you can see, with the Sun behind me the details in the clouds comes up nicely in this HDR.

If I had arrived early morning on a still day, there would have been a magnificent reflection. Ah well.

 

Under Wraps
Under Wraps
The Sky looks great in this shot, again because the sun is behind me, letting the HDR process pick out the detail above and below the horizon.

 

I Wish I'd Brought My Brolly...
I Wish I'd Brought My Brolly...
The rain was on its way again as I took this alternative view of the farm equipment. HDR.

 

Daisy Bee
Daisy Bee

Using my new technique of shooting Super Macro blind, I was lucky enough to catch this little fellow before he flew off.

Photoshop stuff included "labbing" the colour, lightening the bee, desaturating anything destracting, then vignetting with blur and darkness.

 

Arizona? Hampshire!
Arizona? Hamsphire!
Hopefully this is a more realistic looking HDR of the cliffs at Chilling. The Sun is behind me, so the clouds like up nicely, there's a hint of reflection in the pond, and the lack of trees gives no sense of scale. How tall are the cliffs?

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this Photowalk, despite the rough weather, a wide range of shots and some nice captures, but I think an urban Photowalk is in order...

See you on Flickr!

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