I spent a great day looking for new locations on the Norfolk Broads a few days ago. It was the hottest day of the year so far. A real “sun cream and hat day”.
I went for a really early start: 2.15am. The plan was to be in Norfolk for sunrise at 6am. I managed to crawl out of bed just after my 2am alarm call, then had a quick breakfast, picked up the camera bag and headed for the broads.
After a very good journey (what you’d expect at that time of day) I arrived in Norfolk before sunrise. The only problem was it wasn’t a good sunrise at all. Not enough cloud in the sky. Still that’s outdoor photography for you. When you do get the right light conditions it makes the photography all the more satisfying. Still I did have some really lovely golden early morning light in which to photograph my chosen subject, a wind pump by a drainage channel. Along with the warm light there were some great reflections of the wind pump due to the very still conditions. So no sunrise but everything else made up for it.
Once I had photographed my first subject I went in search of a derelict windmill that I had already researched. After a 25 minute walk, there it was and it was well worth the walk. I photographed this atmospheric old building in both colour and infra red. Can’t decide which version I like best. Probably the infra red one.
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My next location was a ruined old church I’d been told about by another photographer. It was a very atmospheric location with ivy growing all over the remaining wall and a huge tree in the centre of the church. In fact it was sometimes hard to tell where the church began and the surrounding woodland finished. The light was getting a bit bright by now and the contrast between the highlight and shadow areas of the pictures was huge. I had to take a number of different exposures which I will combine in Photoshop to extend the dynamic range of the image. (HDR high dynamic range technique)
As the morning wore on the quality of light decreased so I spent the rest of my day just checking out new locations for the photography course I will be running in the broads later on in May.
I just love the Norfolk broads. It’s a watery world full of windmills, ruined abbeys and churches, great wildlife and landscapes with big skies. So after sixteen hours on the go I headed for home with a smile on my face and some good shots in the bag. I’m looking forward to being back on the broads soon.