In the country, a stone's throw from town

Fozzybear

Novice Member
I went walking on Friday around the countryside east of Chelmsford, past Great Baddow and up towards Chelmer Village, mainly to visit the Sandford mill and Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation areas. I'd originally intended to go for a short walk but ended up walking for about four hours, with lots of photography stops along the way. These are a few of the better shots of the day:


Looking east from Sandford lock


Sandford bridge and lock


Sandford lock and lock-keeper's cottage


Life preserver on the old hut by the lock


The footbridge near the site of the old Sandford Mill. This area is looking rather unloved!


Track through the fields at Manor Farm, south of Sandford lock.
 

Tobers

Well-known Member
Nice & picturesque - looks lovely.

Possibly time to get a graduated ND filter and/or polarising filter for the sky? Looks like that tricky hazy flat light which is plagueing us at the moment. I just say this cos I bought a polariser last week (Cokin jobbie) and it's great.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Very nice.. Essex countryside: As you say ....not a long way from town, really:D

Very well worth the walk.:smashin:
Out of interest would anyone actually bath in that water :confused:( Sign says "No Bathing")
 

Fozzybear

Novice Member
I have actually got some grads and a polariser but I never seem to have them with me or think to use them when I'm out. Something I'll have to make an effort to do!
 

Tobers

Well-known Member
I've always got mine in my bag and find I get them out much more often than I'd have originally thought.
 

Fozzybear

Novice Member
I thought I'd try the grad tool in Nikon Capture NX on one of Friday's shots, it does seem to help as it makes adjusting levels for the ground a lot simpler and seems to have allowed me to get a better look (I think):

original


reprocessed with grad


the crop on the right isn't locally adjusted in the new shot, I'd originally used the NX 'u-points' to selectively adjust it, but I didn't in the new version.
 

Brammers

Banned
I like the first and last, but nothing really hits me. I think here you've got fairly 'normal' subjects, 'normal' composition and 'normal' exposure, so to really create interest you need to do something spectacular in PP. The last shot is an example of this - a black tree contrasting strongly against a white sky. When we put it back in colour it looks a lot less interesting. Good low perspective though.

Well exposed and focused though, and certainly picturesque. Overall, a good effort :)
 

Fozzybear

Novice Member
I'm not sure Brammers that going mental with post-processing is a particularly good response to subjects you think are not 'oh my god amazing', especially where fairly subtle processing might reflect the mood better. I've nothing against post-processing, I use it a lot, but I hope that I am selective in which shots I apply heavy PP to.

With most of these shots I wanted a calm feel, which is why I used fairly low contrast processing with gentle colours. I mono processed the tree in field shot as an alternative version to a colour shot because I felt it might also work well as a mono image, but I still like the colour version so I uploaded both to flickr. The life preserver needed slightly heavier contrast so had some work done on it in Capture NX with control points to selectively bring out the tones and colours because that was my intent when taking the shot.

I'm always open to different ways of working with shots and I have looked at the possibilities for 'hard' processing these shots. To that end I tried processing one shot heavily this evening, which I've uploaded to flickr:



Not sure if that's what you were thinking of, it seems ok to me although it's very different to my intended look for the photos. There are a plethora of ways to express any subject and you will never please everyone with the choices you make...
 

Brammers

Banned
What you've done just there is exactly what I was thinking about. You've instantly taken the shot back 60 years, lovely calming view and subtle tones. Critiquing that, you've lost a lot of the blacks, if you could get some more detail in the bottom right it would add a lot.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I'm always open to different ways of working with shots and I have looked at the possibilities for 'hard' processing these shots..............
............. There are a plethora of ways to express any subject and you will never please everyone with the choices you make...
Very true indeed , I actually prefer the original . I had been curious enough to wonder if the water was deep/nice enough for actual bathing
 

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