Sunday, 17 May 2009

OCA Photography 2: Landscape Assignment 2 - One Acre

It was easy for me to choose the location of my one acre for this assignment. Sharpenhoe Clappers is a ten minute drive away from Luton but a wonderful haven of peace and tranquility. The Clappers is a spur of land overlooking the fields of Bedfordshire and part of the Chiltern trail. It is owned by the National Trust and consists of meadow and a beech wood. My chosen area is mainly within the wooded area. Although a popular site with locals and hikers following the Chilterns it always seems peaceful. Surrounded on three sides by steep slopes it has a sense of isolation from it's surroundings, rising above everyday life. On still days voices and traffic noises carry from the village at the foot of the hill giving a further sensation of detatchment. It was this atmosphere I wanted to convey in my photographs. I have uploaded them in three groups as I find it easier to manage that way.

One Acre - Sharpenhoe Clappers (Set one)
1. The first picture is taken from the footpath leading to the wooded 'nose' of the spur of land. I wanted to show the flora along the path and the view across the fields immediately giving the viewer a sense of elevation.
2. Here I scrambled up the bank to look down on the path as it skirted the trees. This gave me a diagonal composition. This picture has a rather yellowy warm cast. Since my tutor's feedback on this project I have been shooting in RAW, which would have enabled me to deal with the tone more easily. It is good to look back and see how you could now make an improved shot.
3. Here the beech trees are silhouetted against the fields. I was pleased with the feeling of enclosure, of being in the woods looking down on the rest of the world. Once again RAW would have given me more control over the exposure.
4. This is one of my favourite views. Before harvest and the wheat fields are golden. It was late afternoon and there is an un-natural pink cast in the sky - next time!
5. I wanted to avoid a conventional sunset, although they are spectacular from the top, it does entail walking back to the carpark through a wooded path in the dark. So here half way back to the carpark I caught the low sun between the trees. As the slope falls away the sun catches the tops of the trees further down the slope before it rises up again on the Chiltern ridge.
1 acre -  view
1 acre - path
1 acre - silhouette
golden evening

The rest of the assignment is over the previous two blogs

OCA Photography 2: Landscape Assignment 2 - One Acre

One Acre - Sharpenhoe Clappers (Set 2)
With this group of pictures, the aim was to depict different aspects of the interior of the chosen acre.
  1. This path is bordered by a high hedge and one emerges from the shady path into the open sunshine. I took several shots and waited some time for the right cloud formation. This one wasn't quite centred on the gap, but it was very windy and the clouds were moving and changing shape fast.
  2. In contrast this broad path is alongside a line of old beech trees, the high canopy at the edge of the trees let in the sun.
  3. Here there are much younger beech trees growing close which give a gloomy feel to the centre.
  4. The Clappers was left to the National Trust by a family in remembrance of brothers lost in the first world war. This rather bleak obelisk commemorates the gift.
1 acre - cloud
1 acre - beech trees

Young beeches
1 acre - monument

OCA Photography 2: Landscape Assignment 3 - One Acre (Set 3)

1 Acre - Sharpenhoe Clappers - the last three

These last three pictures were chosen for detail. When walking on the Clappers I like to observe what is about in the hedgerows. Pictured are

  1. The seedheads of a wild clematis, Travellers Joy, also known as Old Man's Beard

  2. A Comma butterfly

  3. The woodland floor
old man's beard
1 acre - October  Comma
1 acre - still life

This final picture typifies the floor at the centre of the wood, littered with beechmasts, twigs and leaves and small chalky stones. The pigeon feather was a gift for the composition. Looking back over The Art of Photography projects made me realize how I had taken on board considerations such as the placements of points of interest in a composition when framing a shot like this.