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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
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.