We've had several visits to the Wrekin and surrounding area recently and have added more than 30 new pictures to the library.
The first picture below is a panoramic of an oilseed rape field looking towards the Wrekin. This is comprised of 20 images stitched together automatically in Photoshop CS6 - File > Automate > Photomerge. Through trial and error I've found the best way to create a panoramic is to:
1. Use a tripod to make sure you keep all the pictures horizontal throughout the pan.
2. Use the camera in manual mode - the focus distance and aperture must stay the same throughout the image.
3. 30-40% of the image must overlap the next.
4. Make sure you have the shot you want by taking more pictures around the subject so that when you crop it you're not missing any parts you want to keep.
The next time we went up the Wrekin the weather forecast was for sunshine and showers. It looked grim when we set out, but with landscape photography the situation can change in minutes.
When we reached the summit we could see sunshine on the Stretton Hills, with a large shower of rain heading straight towards us. After taking shelter for 20 minutes we had blue skies and dramatic clouds (pictures 2 and 3). The good weather didn't last long, but we took some pictures that we're confident will appear in calendars and magazines.
During this trip we discovered several patches of bluebells and returned to photograph them on a better day. Pictures 4 and 5 are from this visit and illustrate the large numbers of bluebells growing on the slopes of the Wrekin. Picture 6 was taken using a 14mm wide angle with the camera placed on its back in the middle of the tree and using the self timer.
The next outing was to Ercall Woods, which we had never visited before, and we discovered bluebells in abundance (picture 7).
We returned a second time hoping to get a more dramatic sky over the Wrekin for a black and white study (picture 8). I think we achieved it well using a 50mm lens.
After a break in the rain I tried something different by pointing the camera to the canopy (picture 9) with a 14mm lens. This wide-angle shot helped to create an arresting and dramatic image.
Equipment used: Nikon D800, 14mm, 24mm, 50mm, 70-200mm
By John Hayward