Leads Up To Light
a damp autumnal morning in teesdale
low light at low force
Testament to the fact that fog can transform a landscape is this photo of a flight of stone steps leading up to the path above. Ordinarily, I would never have looked twice at this scene, so different is it in daylight. I've passed it so many times on my hikes along Teesdale and never thought or looked twice at it. Envelop it fog however, allow Nature to strip away all distractions, and it becomes an entirely different scene.
A2 – (Printed Area – 370mm x 519mm)
A3 – (Printed Area – 257mm x 360mm)
simple stories simply told
Mist and fog are some of my favourite conditions to photograph in. The mist strips away any unwanted background elements from the scene, allowing you to compose a greater shot. It also brings with it an ethereal quality to the scene, literally soaking it in a heavy, leaden atmosphere. Oftentimes you can also afford to use a long exposure as very little wind exists in foggy conditions like this. The sun had yet to rise when this photo was taken, hence the longer exposure and higher than usual ISO.
This flight of stone steps leads up from Low Force waterfall to the path that runs alongside the River Tees. It stretches all the way to High Force a couple of miles up the trail and beyond towards Blaebeck Force and White Force waterfalls. Its location or any sense of attached grandeur though is irrelevant. Where it lies and what lies beyond the crest of the stone steps resides solely in the eye of the observer and that's what I love about this image and its setting. The ability of the fog to remove any sense of placement and allow the limbs of the trees to invite the viewer and usher them in beneath their bows is what instantly drew me to the scene. Simple stories simply told,
The use of a polarizer here is also crucial as it reduces the blanket glare of the mist. It also serves to bring out the contrast and saturation in Nature's gorgeous autumnal colours. Ordinarily I'd prefer to use a 35mm or 50mm focal length to give more of a feeling of 'being there', of placing the viewer in the scene. 24mm however accentuated the feeling of the stone steps disappearing more into the distance whilst allowing more of the overhead branches to dominate the scene. It also allowed me to feature more of the fallen leaves in the foreground which I believe helps give a sense of placement.
- Canon R6 + Canon L Series 24 - 105 IS USM @ 24mm | f/4 | 1 sec | ISO400
- Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290
- Fotospeed Natural Soft Textured Bright White 315