My Posts are usually planned a few days in advance. It gives me time to draft the text, select the images, and then ‘park’ the draft returning to it for a read through (and usually an edit) before I finally press ‘Publish’.
But events have overtaken me: today’s planned post has been delayed; something better cropped up. We had planned to visit one of our favourite spots (Ivinghoe Beacon) on New Year’s Day but Jan 1 was a rubbish day – grey sky, dreary, dismal. No point going anywhere. The forecast for Jan 2 was much better, and the forecasters got it right: blue skies all morning. So we set off for the 40min drive south after lunch. Ivinghoe Beacon is a Hill on the edge of the Chilterns (about 35miles NW of London). The closer we got to the Beacon, the more the sun flirted with a large dark cloud, and we were thinking: by the time we get there, that cloud will have swallowed the sun – game over. But no – by the time we parked, and set out on the 20min walk to the top, the sun had moved one way, the clouds the other and a sinking golden sun was shining out of a clear sky. Glorious light.
Ivinghoe Beacon is not that high (757ft), but if offers long views over flattish country to the north, edged on either side by gently rolling hills, and it’s also backed by a huge area of woodland. I had gone with the idea of finding some reasonable light and long shadows on middle distance landscapes – but my hopes were not that high. Once there, it didn’t take me long to realize that the landscape was ‘dead’ (too late in the day); but the sight of people silhouetted by the sun, out on the same walk as us, shouted – shoot me. And that is what I shot – 32 images in 10 minutes.
The images came to me – I positioned myself just off the top with the Sun in the frame and waited for suitable family groupings to hove into view.
I went home with a happy heart and an even happier one when I started processing what I’d captured. What a great way to start a New Year.
A lesson learned: don’t go out with fixed expectations, prepare for the unexpected and then maximize the opportunity you’re given.