The Road Home..
I posted a picture of a copse on top of a hill a couple of weeks back. This copse sits right on the border between Devon and Cornwall on the main arterial route into the county, the A30.
It’s a very distinctive landmark. Quite a few people commented that when they see the copse, they know they’re nearly home. For others it was a sign that their holiday starts here.
I was up early this morning. Just as it was getting easier to make first light shoots, the clocks went back an hour for daylight saving time. This doesn’t save any daylight of course, daylight hours remain the same, it just means landscape photographers have to get up really, really early again.. ;-)
I wanted to photograph the copse again but I also wanted to try to capture this sense of arriving and leaving. I decided dawn would be a good time to do this as I’d be able to capture the light trails from cars leaving and arriving, capturing a sense of movement below the copse that stands silently, immobile, marking the transition.
Click on the image for a clearer sharper view. :)
There was a lot of water on the road hence the spray so I will be re-shooting this on a dry day. On a technical note, you have a very narrow window of opportunity when taking a shot like this. It needs to be
a) light enough that your background is properly exposed and not too grainy.
b) dark enough that the cars still have their lights on and
c) dark enough to allow for a long enough exposure to create decent light trails and ensure the vehicles themselves don’t show up in the photo.
It worked out to around 10 minutes this morning in which to get it right. My first exposure was at 6.15 and lasted nearly 7 minutes. I guess I must have set that exposure off at 6.08. My second exposure, this one, was taken at 6.21 and was just one and a half minutes. All other settings were constant. That’s how quickly the light changes. By 6.30, the light trails were weak, the vehicles were showing up in the picture as a blur. The exposure time was down to just 8 seconds. I could of course have used a filter at this point to extend the exposure time again but cars were starting to turn off their lights. I don’t think I’d have got the shot I wanted.