|The Landscape Group Presents......||10 September 2019|
In the second week of our new season, and much earlier in the year’s programme than usual, we had our “Landscape Group Presents…” evening.
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP got the session under way with a presentation entitled Landscape Photography in Autumn. He started by saying that it it is many photographers’ favourite time of the year for photography as the light is softer and the emerging colour in trees make for more interesting compositions. Splitting his talk into four parts, he started with images taken in Mist. The Vale of Pewsey is often shrouded in mist on early mornings in Autumn which can provide an extra dimension to the landscape. He illustrated this with a sunrise photograph taken from Milk Hill, where the subtle pink dawn light suffused the mist.
Caen Locks (left) in Devizes is, said Robert, one of the most popular photography sights in Wiltshire, especially when there is mist, and he urged us to consider heading there to take sunrise shots one week before the autumn equinox. This is when the sun rises directly in line with the top of the locks as seen from the bottom of the flight. The best time this autumn, he said, would be at 07:01 on Monday 16th September.
He also recommended using a longer lens to foreshorten perspective, as demonstrated in misty images taken at Martinsell and Corfe Castle.
Waterfalls constituted Robert’s second section saying that they looked their best on bright overcast days in autumn when colours become well saturated. Fallen leaves on rocks or swirling in the water added extra dimensions to the images. He pointed out that there is constant debate about the best shutter speed for waterfall photography. Using a series of images taken at Tavy Cleave on the River Tavy in Devon, Robert took a straw poll of the audience preferences. Photos taken at 1/80th (crisp water) and 1/2 a second (Milky water) received a reasonable number of votes, but that taken at 10 second (very blurred) was not popular. The favourite for this group, however, was the image taken at 1/6th second in which there was some blurring that showed the movement of the water.
A top tip from Robert was to collect loads of fallen leaves in a bag. These can then be used to tip into swirling water before shooting at a slow shutter speed to capture the swirl in the stream. They can also be placed artistically on convenient foreground rocks to add interest and colour. These techniques were demonstrated in further waterfall images taken at Venford Falls on Dartmoor and a series of waterfalls at Ystradfellte (right) in the Brecon Beacons.
Robert’s third section turned to the pastel colours that become evident in the early morning in Autumn, particularly on frosty days. Showing images of millstone grit rocks in the Peak District and granite stones on Dartmoor, he showed how the early morning glow can infuse the rocks with pastel tones along with the muted shades of bracken brown and grass green. He said that the best light often occurs before dawn, as shown in images taken in the Lake District of Derwent Water and Buttermere, where he was able to capture the pastel tones of the sky reflected in the waters of the lakes. He also showed shots of the muted colours on a cloudy day at Castlerigg Stone Circle and the gleaming wood of a jetty on a rainy afternoon at Ullswater.
For his fourth section, Robert talked about the golden leaves that are characteristic of Autumn. Several further photographs taken in the Lake District showed the splendour of trees in the landscape as the leaves change colour. He also showed how the use of a 10-stop neutral density filter can smooth out the waters in a lake to obtain crisp reflections. Images taken on Exmoor at Robber’s Bridge and Tar Steps (left) also showed the beauty of yellow and orange-leaved trees at the river’s edge.