I spoke to you last week about my day out shooting personal work and the fun I had. When I posted my new Abstract image I mentioned that the plan for the outing was to capture some of the amazing Autumnal colour we are seeing right now. The Vale of Clara in Wicklow proved to be a great location for this resplendent as it was, a forest full of tree’s heavy with autumnal foliage and vibrant colours and a fast-moving river swollen after some recent heavy rains. How could I fail? Above is my homage to this picture perfect location in the heart of Wicklow.
By the time I arrived in the vale the sun was pretty high in the sky and there was a lot of contrast to manage, both the Sky was bright and the reflections from the water were strong. Once I found a suitable location for this image I set the Tripod up and got to work. First thing was to the manage the contrast between the deep shadows underneath the trees on the left, the bright reflections in the water on the right and the even brighter sky. I ended using a 3 stop and a 1 stop ND Soft Graduated Filters to manage the dynamic range. At an angle of about 60 Degs I slide the 1 stop in from the right side all the way across until it covered those strong reflections in the water on the right side, I then added the 3 stop at the same angle but just covering the sky on the right; which essentially provided 4 stops of filtration for the sky. To lift those gorgeous brown & amber colours in the leaves and their reflections I added my 105mm Poloriser to the front of the Lee Filter holder. Adjusting the CPL I struck a balance between saturating those autumnal colors and creating a strong reflection in the water. After that it was a matter of finding the right exposure time to provide some nice movement in the river without loosing its detail and structure. After some experimentation 0.8 seconds seemed to offer the best balance. Then it was simply about patience, waiting for the right time to release the shutter, waiting for something unique to happen in the water. The swirl seen in the bottom left of the image was caused by a floating branch that became stuck very briefly. The pattern was gone within seconds so it paid to be ready and waiting to press the cable release.