I had to pause before making the photograph in todays post. The sunlight was getting increasingly bright when I found the tree and the contrasts of light and shadow were pretty strong – perhaps too much? But it caught my eye and I felt there was a picture to be had. I think I’d have ignored it if I’d been shooting digital (and definitely if I was using slide film!), but I had HP5+ in the camera back and I thought it would handle the extremes.
It didn’t let me down and, despite the dynamic range of the scene, there is still detail in both highlights and shadows.
Out of the coner These twists of wooden lightning Spark up from the earth
This follows on directly from my post a couple of days ago about my walk over the fields near Aston. Another four photos from the middle(ish) section of the walk.
It was dry on the day of the walk and the ground was firm, but there were reminders of how the conditions can change when wet weather has occured, both in the shape of these tractor tracks, and also the signs of footprints in the dried surface of the footpath.
Across another field the path splits – turning right and heading south along the western edge of the mortorway, or left where I walked up an incline to the bridge across the M1. Just before crossing the bridge I made a photo of a farm track where it ran through a stand of trees.
Crossing the motorway in the crisp spring light, I made another picture, this time of the road heading north. A little further up is the junction where the M18 splits to take drivers north-east to Doncaster, Robin Hood Airport, and on to Goole. The M1 itself bends westwards to split the gap between Sheffield and Rotherham, crossing the River Don over Tinsley Viaduct close to the Meadowhall shopping mall, before turning back north to Barnsley, Wakefield and Leeds.
After crossing the motorway, the footpath cut to the right and south towards a nearby farm. The farm had a large open-sided barn which made opportunity for another couple of pictures.
I did make one final photo on this roll of Delta 100 a little further on where a line of poplars framed a nice wooden door and cottage. Sadly the film snapped while loading it onto the spiral and so that frame was lost.
I’ve more photos still to come from this walk, but they’re colour pictures so I’ll post them another day.
A big wooden barn It’s sides open to the wind Contents blown away?
A week ago I posted a couple of photos of trees stood beside a drystone wall at the edge of Padley Gorge. In that post I mentioned that I had another photo made at the same location yet to come, so here it is today.
A gap in the wall Reveals an excited birch Waving its branches
While out in the Peak District the other week I took a brief wander into the birch trees close to Surprise View to look for potential photos. There are countless pictures to be had, but it’s not always easy to eke them out. I didn’t stay in the arera long and made just three or four photos including the two here today.
The first is of a bird-box affixed to one of the trees. There are a number of these boxes throughout the place, but this one has been damaged somehow – whether by human, animal, or natural forces I do not know. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper now though.
While I was making the photo of the bird-box I could hear the trees creaking in the wind around me, but it was only when I looked up that I noticed the soun was coming from a tree I was stood beneath. It’s trunk was broken partway up and a significant section of the upper part of the tree was swinging in the breeze. I don’t think it was at imminent risk of breaking free and landing on my head but I moved out of the way nontheless.
A broken tree trunk Swinging and creaking above I’m glad it stayed put
A few weeks ago (although I would swear it wasn’t that long ago!) I posted a picture of a structure built of sticks. Today I have another couple of photographs of the same twiggy building plus a photo of another, neighbouring edifice.
I’ve still not come across anyone actually building these things – not that I spend that much of my time wandering through the trees – and I’m still curious as to whether their construction is some sort of organised activity, or just groups of kids making dens? Few of the trees around this area are suitable for treehouses, so perhaps these make an alternative?
The other option is that the second of the three little pigs has decided this would be a good place to build a fortress against the Big Bad Wolf. I didn’t see any wolves, just a few dogs being walked. Nor did I make any attempt to see if I could huff and puff and blow the house in.
Mister Wolf is here So little pig, little pig Please let me come in!
Over the past few years, when walking in wooded areas, I’ve noticed a number of structures appear. They appear to be rudimentary shelters made from branches, although they probably do little to keep the elements out. I’ve seen them in a number of different places, but have never seen anyone building them which lends them a slightly spooky Blair Witch Project air.
The branches used to build them, in my local area at least, seem to be from woodland management – lots of trees have been trimmed in the last year or so. In a lot of cases these cuttings are left piled up like lumber, perhaps to be collected at a later date, or maybe to form an environment suited to small mammals and invertebrates. Some of the cuttings go on to create these structures though.
I’m sure there’s a perfectly mundane reason for them, but I also kinda like the idea of a miniature Stonehenge / Easter Island type mystery about them.
Who might sleep inside A home made of drafty sticks Little pig maybe?
While the lockdown continues and my movements are still restricted then I’m tending to fall back on some well used subject matter – trees.
Luckily, while I don’t have much in the way of forrests withing walking distance, there are planty of trees around Rother Valley. The variety feels somewhat limited, mostly being birches and other quick growing deciduous types, but there are more than enough shapes amongst them to make plenty of photos. And, as they say, beggars can’t be choosers.
Took a walk today Along the Trans Pennine Trail I made some photos
I think that this is my favourite shot from the roll I put through the Holga on the recent snowy day (although not the most recent lot though. We had another fall this morning that caused chaos for early morning drivers on their way to work – my wife included).
I like the way the birches lean across the path here and the snow adds a special touch. The lone figure further down the path is the icing on the cake.
Footprints and bike tracks Evidence of exercise On a winter’s day
Looking further down the line I’m hoping for at least a partial return to normaility later in the year. As more of the population are vaccinated against Covid-19, so I hope that restrictions will be lifted and more freedom restored. Just the though of being able to hop in the car and drive somewhere without first having to check which tier it is in will be nice. Hell, just going to a restaurant even!
But at this immediate point in time that all still feels like some ways off. The restrictions remain, vaccinations have not really touched the majority of the population yet, and there’s likely to be an increase in cases and fatalities as we move into January. Brexit has happened, but the less said about that sorry state of affairs the better, I think . I’m also back at work next week and have a busy month ahead of me. This is a good thing, but despite a fortnight’s leave over Christmas, the strange circumstances in which we still reside mean that I don’t feel particularly rested.
Apart from some confectionery, the gifts I received for Christmas sit as yet untouched in a small pile on my office desk and, if previous years are anything to go by, it may be months before I actually find the time to enjoy them – mostly because ,when I do have some free time, I feel overwhelmed by all the things I’d like to do and then end up procrastinating about which to choose until I end up doing not much of anything! I feel I need another week of post-holiday leave or something to just do stuff.
As for photography, I still have pictures made in 2020 to develop and scan, but I’m not sure what will be the first thing I do photographically in 2021 as yet. I’m feeling a little uninspired if I’m honest. I’m sure the inspiration will return, and it’s not a winter thing – I know may photographers despair of the dull and, some might say, miserable conditions brought by a British winter, but I really don’t mind them. The conditions suit different types of photos is all. I will be making a second zine in the coming months though, so I need to put on my thinking cap to decide on the contents.
I don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions as such, as they tend to fail more often than not, but this year I am going to attempt to not only lose some weight (something I know I can do), but also get fitter by doing C25K with one of my sons. Both should be positive activities I think (if not the easiest for me!).
Well, that’s a slightly gloomy post isn’t it? Please don’t let me bring anyone down. In order to lift things a little, I’ve decided that I will try to add a haiku to each day’s post this year. So here’s the first Please don’t judge my verse too harshly. 🙂
A new year is here I hope it’s better than last I’ll cross my fingers
And here’s another (slightly underexposed, but still quite nice) photo of the trees on the edge of Lady Canning’s Plantation. It is a photo blog after all.
Given that I mentioned it in yesterday’s post, heres the second most underexposed shot from this roll. While it has definite faults (not least all the dust spots that I didn’t have the will to remove!), it still kinda works I think.