Better when you can’t see it all?

Frustrated that I didn’t get any good pictures of our brief blizzard, I’m going to switch my attention to my real favourite weather feature, mist.

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I’ve written before about my mixed feelings about Bedgebury. I love woodland when it feels ancient and mysterious, but there are bits of the Pinetum that seem more like they have been freshly flat-packed out of Ikea.

What a difference a bit of mist makes, though:

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Those who study photographic composition talk of mist as an example of what is called aerial perspective. This is anything like smoke, haze or mist that covers over things in an image making it harder to see parts of it. We like to look a it because it makes a flat image look more 3d- closer things have less aerial perspective than those far away. It also creates shape patterns which are unpredictable and therefore mysterious.

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Lecture over, here are some more pictures.

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Bedgebury Breeze

_DSC2549I’ve used long exposure shots on this blog quite often over the last couple of years to freeze lakes like Dunorlan to give the look of a sheet of ice. You can see a bit of that look in the picture above of Bedgebury, but just after I took it, I noticed what had happened to the reeds on the opposite bank.

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I’d never really tried out this technique pointed at foliage in the wind. There is nothing peaceful about these shots of I took in the next few minutes of Bedgebury in a breeze. Instead the 30 second exposures end up looking a bit like a poor man’s Monet. I’ve exaggerated the colours a bit to add to the effect.

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New old lens in Bedgebury

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I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the fun of using ancient lenses on a modern camera. This week I went back to Bedgebury with the same approach, but potentially an even stranger old lens- the Helios 58mm 44-2. This is another cold war Eastern European lens, this time from Russia and it was made as a cut price copy of a Zeiss lens. It can now be had for about £20 online.

Like a Zeiss, it has lovely bokeh (blurred backgrounds):

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What is particularly distinctive with this lens, though is what happens when your blurred background is made of foliage. The swirly effect it creates was probably the result of the cheapness of the lens, but it can be quite appealing:

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I also like what it does to wider shots like these of the trees- there is a really painted quality to these images:

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In this one, I shot through the steamed up window of the cafe to make things even more surreal:

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Finally in this one, I have maybe pushed the developing slightly too much, but my colour blind eyes liked the effect:

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Bedgebury- It will be great when it’s finished.

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I blogged a few weeks ago from Bedgebury. If I am honest after visiting this place for ten years, I am really only recently beginning to appreciate its charms. With so many of the trees being still relatively young, it feels like somewhere that will be worth visiting in about a hundred years and much of it feels so artificial with its walkways, playgrounds and wooden sculptures.

And yet the trees are beautiful and I am learning to love its strangeness. Last time I brought these out in long exposures and false colour. Today I worked in infrared:

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