Too Clear, Too Cloudy
In landscape photography there is one thing more than anything else that annoys me and that is the weather. It’s an element I have no control of and it seems that I spend more time checking forecasts than I actually do taking photographs. With shooting time at a premium I’m always keen to make the most of what time I do have by going to locations where the conditions will be optimal. Over the years I’ve discovered this is very difficult. On the plus side it does make those times when it all does come together even more satisfying.
Summer normally brings better weather and more importantly longer days so more opportunities for photography. However, the summer weather recently has been a bit of a mixed bag. It’s either been overcast and dull, or bright blue skies. I know some people can do wonders with their photography in clear conditions but I just don’t get on with it (unless I’m chilling out with a glass of wine). What I really want for my photograph at this time of year is somewhere between cloud and clear. It’s not much to ask is it.
The other night I was faced with another clear sky evening. I had the choice of staying in and being grumpy or heading out to do some exploring instead. As I was keen to discover some new locations I decided on the latter and head out anyway.
I had a quick look at my custom Google Map and saw a pin against Mel Tor in the middle of Dartmoor so that seemed as good a place as any to head out to. I wasn’t expecting to get any images, but I thought I’d better take my camera anyway. When I arrived at the car park I was presented with some beautiful, panoramic views of Dartmoor.
It was only a short walk to Mel Tor and while I didn’t think there was a photograph to be had there that evening I have made a note to return there for autumn because of the big wide views of the woodland below.
I then had the option of taking a look at Sharp Tor but time was getting on and I rather fancied taking a panoramic image of that view I had seen earlier. I wanted to get a better angle and elevation for the panoramic view though so I jumped in the car and drove towards Corndon Tor.
All You Need Is One Image
By the time I got to the summit the light was starting to fade. Although the sun hadn’t reached the horizon yet I knew the surrounding hills would start casting big shadows so I had to get to work quickly. I set up my tripod, took a test shot (to check for focus and exposure) and then took a series of images for my panoramic photograph.
By the time I’d done that the light was gone. I literally had time to take that panoramic image and that was it. Considering I didn’t think I’d take any images, or any decent images that evening I was pretty happy with the result!
Sometimes all you need is one image. It could be the first image you take, the last image you take, or indeed the only image you take.