Over the Hill

This was taken about 10 minutes into dawn, after it was light enough to see, just before sunrise. I had parked my car next to the road below after seeing this hill marked on a map the previous evening. As it was dark when I arrived, I did get stuck for a few moments on barbed wire when coming through the gate into this field, whilst trying not to drop all my camera equipment. Luckily, it didn’t take too much ingenuity before I could free myself and start to climb this little incline.

As usual, there were a lovely variety of clouds such as you tend to get around dawn, which the clear crest of the hill just seemed to emphasise. Although I had intended that morning to shoot more the kind of sweeping vista shot, none really appeared for me. Fortunately, I had this photo to fall back on.

Dawn clouds above a hill

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Gated Sunrise

The sun had been visible for less than 20 minutes by the time I took this photo. The light was almost at that point where it starts to become less interesting. This usually seems to happen around 30 minutes or so after sunrise, but can be much longer, stretching several hours in the winter.

To make the gate visible leading into the field, required extending the tripod to its maximum height so that the camera could shoot over all the grass in the foreground. The problem with this, is that because the viewfinder is well over six feet off the ground when I do this, I couldn’d actually see to compose the picture. By pre-composing at a lower height, then moving the camera up, I was fortunately able to get the shot I wanted pretty quickly.

Sunrise seen through trees over a series of fields.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Frosty Orchard

An orchard covered in a thin layer of frost, just after sunrise. Orchards and similar plantations can make good photographs as they all tend to be arranged in regular rows. Having a space moving off to infinity as here draws the eye in and through the image. What makes this for me, and is the reason I shot it, is the fork left sticking out of the ground to the right. When I see something like this, I always wonder how the object came to be left there, when there are no other tools around. Maybe it’s still there today?

A frost covered orchard. Two rows of trees lead to the distance.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Cow Field

An early morning in a field of cows. After the sunrise seen in ‘Leicestershire Sunrise’ disappeared thanks to cloud cover, I walked on to see if I could find any other pictures. On crossing a small footbridge, I came across this path leading into the distance, surrounded by cows. I’m not entirely sure how often or when cows sleep, as they always seem to be awake and eating grass, no matter what the time of day or night. This was taken just after 6 am, yet they are still quite happily wandering around.

I shot this as an HDR to preserve that early morning ‘feel’ of the scene. It didn’t require too much additional work, although the stonework needed some colour adjustment and the cows movement between shots had to be fixed.

Dawn over a field of cows

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com


Sunrise over a misty field. This was the start of one of the hottest days of the year, and also one of the longest. Although you only tend to see this kind of ground mist in the Autumn and Winter months, it is present throughout the year. Particularly, it seems to appear at the start of what will be very hot days. Generally, you don’t tend to see this mist though, as it is very quickly burnt off by the heat from the sun within less than 30 minutes of sunrise. As this picture was taken at about 5.00 am, you have to get up pretty early to see the mist.

This is a three exposure HDR, which required a fair amount of curves work to get the colours and relative brightnesses of the scene correct. In particular, the leaves on the tree were very dark, and there wasn’t a whole lot of contrast throughout the scene. Luckily, all these problems are easy to fix with a little know-how.

Sunrise over a recently mowed field

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Norfolk Fens

The sun rising over the Norfolk fens. It was so cloudy and overcast on this morning that I wasn’t sure I would get a sunrise. Luckily, as often seems to happen, the clouds parted just above the horizon, letting the sun out for just a few minutes. There must be some meteorological reason for the clouds to do this, although I’m not sure what it is. I suppose I should just be fortunate that it happens at all.

This is an HDR of the usual three exposures. There was some levels/curves and hue/saturation work to get the colours and contrast right, but this is otherwise exactly as seen.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Night in the Field

Wandering round the countryside after dark can lead to just as many photographs as during the daytime. It’s a necessity to have a tripod with you and to take long exposures of everything you wish to photograph, but the same landscapes that are there during the day are just as present at nighttime.

This particular shot only works because of the time of day (or night). It was shot in the middle of Summer at 3.30am. The lighter blue in the top of the picture is from the approaching sunrise, just as twilight begins. The orange glow in the bottom right on the other hand, is from the streetlights of a nearby town, several miles away.

I remember this as a particularly difficult shot to take. I had to fully extend the tripod (over 6 feet!) before precariously balancing it on a bench so the camera could see over the tall vegetation right in the foreground. It was also a very windy night, so I had to hold onto the tripod during the 30 second exposure to prevent it toppling over, and hoping I wasn’t causing blur. I also had to compose by trial and error, as the eyepiece was at least 8 feet off the ground and my camera doesn’t have live view. Considering all that, I think it turned out pretty well!

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

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