Up in the Clouds

We have been for our first walk in our new neighbourhood of West Sussex, and as befits mountaineers my son and I chose to walk to the top of Leith Hill. At 294M (965ft) it is the highest point in the county; and indeed in all of the south-eastern counties of England if you exclude Walbury Hill in West Berkshire, which I personally don’t feel can be classed as being truly in SE England as it lies considerable further to the West.IMG_8204

It was a miserably grey day and approaching the hill by car it was obvious that the top was shrouded in cloud. The prospect of a few memorable photographs to mark the occasion dimmed. We parked the car in a muddy car-park more than half way up the hill and set off up an easy track through dense woodland towards the top.

IMG_8187I had no real pre-conceptions about this walk. I expected woodland but what I found was a medieval primordial jungle of trees – the living, the dead, the dying and the fallen. Wreathed in mist it felt more like rain forest than woodland.

Neither of us like following in the tracks of others, and spotting a fallen tree and a narrower trail we left our fellow walkers behind and headed off into more interesting terrain.IMG_8198

It was the type of day and environment that at first glance looked un-photogenic. It required a completely different mindset and once the first image was discovered it felt as if my eyes were seeing images according to a new paradigm. Mist – or cloud – reduces the ‘depth’ that we are used to seeing within our images. Instead we see the world more as a two-dimensional slice and the consequence is that objects stand in glorious isolation without a competing background. This was most evident on the hill’s plateau where an array of trees stood like sentinels against a blank backdrop.IMG_8208

This was an atmospheric day to be out and about for my first visit to Leith Hill and I know I will be making many return visits to this place: there will always be something new and different to discover as the seasons come and go.IMG_8202_Simp

Below is a gallery of images from this first visit with evidence of some experimentation during the processing stage back home. All images taken with a Canon G10. It’s so good to feel inspired anew after months of not having time or opportunity to be out with a camera.

This will be my last post in 2015 so may I take this opportunity to wish you all a healthy, happy, and successful 2016 with many photographic opportunities.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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18 Responses to Up in the Clouds

  1. ShimonZ says:

    I like the photography very much… and it’s just the sort of thing I think I might have missed. Very often, in the fog or haze, I give up before I’ve fully examined the visual properties. Enchanting, the way you’re getting to know your new neighborhood. And of course, best wishes for the new year.

    • LensScaper says:

      My best wishes to you too for 2016, Shimon. It’s very easy to dismiss inclement weather (of all types) as un-photogenic. It requires a complete re-think – a bit of lateral thinking perhaps.

  2. Andy, I’m so happy for you! How wonderful to find this place on your first venture out from your new home. This is a fine collection of images, and I know you will find many more to share. Happy New Year to you, too.

  3. ehpem says:

    How wonderful to stumble into this on your first walk. And you have achieved your goal to mark the occasion with some memorable photographs! You may be hard pressed to get better pictures than these on the clearest summer day. Leith Hill Tower looks as if it might present some photographic opportunities too.

    • ehpem says:

      Also, meant to comment that you have a very steady hand to shoot at 1/8 to 1/10th second for many of those shots!

    • LensScaper says:

      The tower was certainly unappealing on my fist visit but it served cups of tea – very welcome! This visit also opened my eyes to the possibilities in poor weather. Blue skies and bright sun will transform the forest, but for atmosphere, mist takes some beating

  4. shoreacres says:

    It’s impossible to choose a favorite among these. Each has its own particular delight to offer — although, of course, you stumbled into a landscape filled iwth delights. I was especially interested in your comments about fog, and the way it affects images. We’re moving into our fog season here, so there may be some opportunity for me to experiment a bit myself.

    A happy new year to you. I’m looking forward to following you and your camera into it!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you Linda and my best wishes for 2016 to you. There’s been some rather unpleasant weather in your part of the USA and further south from what we read. I recall the quote that says: “there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”. I think we can easily substitute the word ‘clothing’ with ‘photography’. Bad days require us to re-tune our eyes to think differently, it is not always easy as we so often assume that good photography is the product of good weather, whereas good photography is the product actually of a good eye and ‘tuning’ that eye to See is a skill that we continue t master through life.

  5. seekraz says:

    I find the black and white images most striking, Andy…and your presentation of your noted scenes make all of it appear very inviting to my forest and fog/mist-loving self. Very nicely done….

  6. Chillbrook says:

    Beautiful images Andy! Looks like you’re settling in nicely! 🙂

  7. poppytump says:

    Your pictures spell out Winter only too clearly Andy, how lovely to be out exploring your new *neighbourhood . I see lots of inspiration coming your way 🙂
    Happy new year to you and your family .

  8. Pingback: A perfect winter’s day | LensScaper

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