This post is about my recent visit to Hurley on the River Thames, which is between Henley and Marlow, There is much to see here, including an abundance of Red Kites, a huge picnic area, a camp site and some lovely properties which make me green with envy. Here’s a few shots from around the area. (Click on the thumbnails to view.)
As it’s summer and getting dusk or dawn shots involves getting up very early or staying out late, I’ve decided to continue my River Thames project closer to home during the summer months, I’ll be getting back to the upper reaches when September comes.
On the day
For this visit I had no specific subject in mind, I arrived mid afternoon to have a good walk around the area to look for a composition. On arrival I headed east toward Marlow and came across a wooden footbridge that looked promising, but it was way before golden hour so I continued on towards Marlow and got as far as Temple lock. I then turned round and walked back to Hurley and beyond for a couple of miles. I found nothing that appeared any better than the previously mentioned wooden bridge, so back I went. By the time I got there it was about 7pm, and I was more than happy to sit around and soak in the tranquil surroundings after all that walking.
It had been sunny all afternoon, but a similar thing happened here to that when I was in Lechlade a few weeks back. A big cloud was hiding the sun. By the time it made an appearance a shadow was cast on the bridge and only the tops of trees were catching the sun light. However the bridge had a faint glow and I wondered how that could be. From where I was the sun’s position was obscured by trees, so I went to investigate. Well, you could have blown me down with a silent but deadly! The sky was on fire where the sun was setting. For a moment I wished I was somewhere else with something awesome in front of it, but I felt reasonably confident I could make something from what I had in front of me. The sunshine was brief, by the time I’d taken a couple of shots, the sun hid behind the cloud again before I had time to refit my 6 stop filter for a long exposure.
For the whole time I was there I shot about 30 shots in total, some bracketed, some with a 6 stop filter for long exposures, all with a polariser which added a little contrast to the sky but did little for any glare on the water of which there wasn’t much anyway, so no matter.
Here’s the final image.
On Monday I had time to go over the images and decide which to use and how to edit. In the end the final image was a composite of 5 shots along with some cloning out of distractions. I had intended to show a video of the editing but it was way too involved and long winded. I plan to show some of the editing techniques used in the future, so watch this space.
Why 5 shots? 3 of them were bracketed and I used Google Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2 to merge them. Another image had the best looking sky, so that was added as a layer with a layer mask, as was the final image that showed the tops of the trees lit by the sun. I would much rather have achieved this without so much compositing, but I always bear in mind that things don’t always go to plan and so I cover myself by taking plenty of shots as conditions change. For this Project, which is going to be time consuming enough, I don’t want to be left with having to return to the same venue if I can help it.
So that’s my second outing for my River Thames project completed and I’m very please with the final result. Next I plan to go to Marsh Lock in Henley which looks a promising venue.
Thanks for reading and hope you check back soon.