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Old 6th May 2013
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Zuiko Zuiko is offline
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Eastern Promise

I surprised myself today by actually getting up for a dawn shoot, 4.00am to be precise, to be on location at 4.45am. Never mind that dawn today was a damp squib, I'm just pleased that I managed to motivate myself.

I planned it on the back of a favourable weather forecast for a clear dawn with no wind and the possibility of mist. My chosen location was Hatfield Forest, where I reckoned the lake would be as likely as anywhere to develop a band of mist. Sure enough the mist was there, not in any great quantity but enough to add some atmosphere when the first rays of sunlight glanced upon it. There was only one problem, a thick bank of cloud to the north-east guaranteed there would be no crimson dawn or brilliant sunrise.

Still, it felt good to be out at that time of day again and as I made my way through the half-light of the pre-dawn I became aware of some movement amongst the indeterminant shapes beneath the trees ahead. Soon they were off, taking no chances with me, a herd of twenty plus deer. Nearer the lake a pair of small birds swooped close to my head, taking avoiding action at the last moment. No, they were bats!

At the lake it was obvious that the hoped for sunrise would not be happening, so I contented myself by taking some shots of the tethered rowing boats amongst the gently rising mist.




Later, when the mist had dispersed, the sun finally broke through the stubborn cloud and weakly illuminated the buildings at the far side of the lake. By now a cautious breeze had begun to gently ruffle the surface of the lake and it gave me the opportunity to try smoothing it with a long exposure, using my 10 stop ND filter and Live Time exposure mode on the E-M5.




Here's what it looked like with a "normal" exposure without the filter.




Moving around the lake, I stopped to take this shot of the Shell House, nicely framed by a willow and its reflection.




With the sun now more intense, I composed an ambitious backlit shot that far exceeded my camera's dynamic range. Later, I processed the same raw file with two different exposures and merged them in Photomatix - not entirely sure it was successful but certainly a techique to try again.




It was almost time for the cafe to open, with the prospect of a bacon roll for breakfast before I returned home. I took one last shot, my favourite of the morning, a wide-angle close-up of fresh new leaves on a horse chestnut.

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Old 6th May 2013
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OlyPaul OlyPaul is offline
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Re: Eastern Promise

A nice set John and no1 is a cracker and has a lot of further potential for post processing. I'm surprised you have not run it through the Nik software.
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Old 6th May 2013
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Zuiko Zuiko is offline
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Re: Eastern Promise

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Originally Posted by OlyPaul View Post
A nice set John and no1 is a cracker and has a lot of further potential for post processing. I'm surprised you have not run it through the Nik software.
Thanks Paul, I hadn't considered No 1 as a B&W, I'll give it a go later.
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Old 6th May 2013
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Re: Eastern Promise

A great set. Did you get the bacon butty?
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Old 6th May 2013
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Zuiko Zuiko is offline
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Re: Eastern Promise

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A great set. Did you get the bacon butty?
You bet! Mind you, they nearly spoilt it; I specifically requested no lettuce and tomato but they put it in anyway. Luckliy I managed to take it out before it spoit my butty. To my mind, the whole purpose of doing a healthy walk is to compensate for an unhealthy breakfast!
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Old 6th May 2013
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Re: Eastern Promise

Some great shots, worth the early start despite the lack of sun. Those big stoppers do come in handy for smoothing out water, don't they? Lettuce and tomato in a bacon butty? Whatever next? I would have taken them out too, and added lashings of brown sauce.
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