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Micheldever wood | by antonyspencer
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Micheldever wood

view large... B l a c k m a g i c




Looking into the light at my favourite bluebell wood. I have been trying to find an area where you can shoot into the sun like this and retain detail in the background for a couple of years now. This is only possible here because the background consists of smaller trees that run right alongside the motorway.


Ideally I would have been able to make that background form a third of the frame, but this was my preferred viewpoint as any higher and everything would have burned out. I used my zeiss 50 f 1.4 which is by far the best and sharpest lens in my bag, perfect for shots like this where there is so much detail to be captured. To achieve that third in the back would have meant getting much closer and losing depth of the woodland and shadows. I did try it because hey, I shoot digitally and it doesn't cost anything, unfortunately it just didn't work as well as this one did.


I love these woods but have to say composing shots in woodland like this for me, are the hardest compositions I will do until this time again next year. Finding the cleanest part of the forest floor, then composing around the trees, trying to hide clutter etc mean miles of walking and observing only to return another day when the light is perfect for the photo you have locked inside your head. I really wanted mist this particular morning to soften those beams of light as they stream through the trees. Without it the light is very harsh and controlling the contrast becomes extremely difficult.


I couldn't believe my luck when I got this mist again, after seeing it earlier in the week. This one for me is one of those moments where everything comes together. All the miles of walking ( believe me there were many in these bluebells in the last 2 years) and the days of tiredness after getting up before 4am knowing I wont be home until 10 pm paid off for once.

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Taken on May 2, 2009