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Showing posts from February, 2012

Snow on the South Downs

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Snow fell across England and Wales on Saturday 4th February 2012. I got up early on Monday morning to capture a rare glimpse of the South Downs covered in snow. Rising temperatures and information from contacts in Eastbourne and Friston Forest persuaded me to avoid these areas. Instead, I visited Stanmer Down, north of Brighton in the morning and spent the afternoon at Kingston Ridge, to the west of Lewes. The partially melted snow created extremely difficult walking conditions. As temperatures fell sharply close to sunset, the snowy surface re-froze, creating ice on paths and a hard crust on top of undisturbed snow. The conditions also resulted in a pair of frozen boots.

Perseverance in Five Parts

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I recently visited Stanmer Down, in the South Downs National Park, over five afternoons, figuring out how to photograph a lone tree I had spotted while looking for deer. The first two visits were marred by inaccurate weather forecasts; the third, by arriving late. By the forth visit, I had worked out the prime location for obtaining the photographs I wanted — north of the tree, along a hilly path leading up to Ditchling Beacon. I would need to use the moderate to long telephoto settings on my Canon EF 100-400mm lens in order to compress the landscape and isolate subject matter. The light was good for mid-afternoon in winter, being reasonably 'warm', although I was prevented from taking pictures during the 'Golden Hour' by increasing cloud cover. Haze, a common bugbear on the South Downs was present, although not altogether unpleasant. The daytime temperatures and physical presence of the South Downs caused the uplift of relatively humid air, creating hindering low lev

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