I’m embarrassed to admit it - I’ve lived near Edinburgh for nearly 15 years and rarely explored The Lammermuir hills. Only twenty miles south east of Scotland’s capital, these bleak beautiful moors and remote glens are rarely visited. Managed for grouse, the landscape has been altered by man for thousands of years - hill forts abound, and now, wind turbines.
This ancient stand of beech bounds the road, stretching for maybe a quarter of a mile or so. My usual take would be to face the line of trees and photo them as they span one side of the image frame to the other. But this perspective is almost side on, slightly diagonal, I’m standing in the road for this perspective. I’ve used a long lens - total of about 560mm on a full frame camera - because the telephoto compressed the scene making the trees seem closer together. I didn’t want any sky showing through the branches, distracting and swamping the gentle tones with too much light. The gold (or bronze?) contrasts nicely with the green moss on the trunks. When I used auto white balance the camera would see the scene as yellow, try to render that yellow as white by correcting with an artificial blue wash, and render the scene cold. Correcting that by selecting ‘cloudy’ setting gave a more natural appearance. Tripod, f11 which is the sharp sweet spot of this lens, 160 iso and a shutter speed of around a twentieth of a second. Given there was a bitterly gusty wing blowing, its only lucky the leaves aren’t blurry.
Further up on the heather moor were opportunities to get close to Red Grouse - this is from out of the car window.
This is another long shot, with a lens hood fitted to try to reduce the flare and glare from the bright sun. The river is the Dye. That S shaped meander is a classic composition device, leading the eye across the scene. I do like the shadow of the beech lying across the river. It’s around midday so it’d be worth having another look one sunset for longer shadows and a golden glow.
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