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January 14th 2022 - Fonthill Lake

To me Fonthill Lake is my pasta/pesto dinner - a goto when I don't have much time and just need a quick fix to satisfy my appetite. However, on my last visit in 2021 I'd stumbled across some Yew Trees, which I felt had strong potential in the right light. Just as adding lemon juice and almonds to my pesto revolutionized my gluttony, these Yews were going to elevate the photographic potential of Fonthill lake no end! I'd even been so bold to update social media to state that it was my 'new years resolution to get a good Yew shot in 2022'. (I know I sound like a prize b*ll-end but I promise I'm not!)

The forecast for the morning suggested there was a strong chance of mist, so I put on my sweetest voice and called my Mum to see if she could mind the children for a couple of hours while I nipped out with my camera. Thankfully she said yes (good old Grandma!) and it was on!

Fonthill lake is about 30 minutes drive from my house, and as I hit the A303 I was a little concerned there was very little mist around, but I've found Fonthill usually delivers, especially when it's cold. True to form the mist was nice and thick as I parked up.

While I waited for some light, I walked around the lake and visited some old favourites. The tree below features prominently in my gallery, and is particularly fancy during the Autumn. In winter it's a bit sadder, but then aren't we all a little bit anyway! I refrained from processing this as a black and white as I liked the subtle green cast - each to their own and all that..

Reminiscing about my wildlife days I thought this rather splendid Swan would make a nice subject. As per normal it moved pretty much straight after I got in position, so I either had this shot with a branch partially obstructing the scene, or one of the Swan's arse. For everyone's sake, this is the one I'm posting. Who's got two thumbs and forgot to lower the iSO for the next hour after this shot? That's right Scrubs fans, this guy!

Despite my iSO faux pas I did recover my composure to frame this shot. This is another view that shines in Autumn, but there's a kind of bleak simplicity to this image that I like.

I kind of screwed the edit up on the next image (I went 'warm' when I should have gone 'cool') but I still like it enough to share it. Whether I like it enough to re-edit it is a different matter...(clue, I don't!)

As the sun started to burn through the mist I headed for the Yews and mother nature duly delivered.

Firstly, I snapped the tree dubbed 'the Octopus' by my mate Simon (I don't see it!). A hole in the canopy allowed the light through in just the right places, and just as pleasing was the fact this could double as a spring image, given the lushness of the greenery. I went with a lighter portrait image as an accurate representation of the scene, and then applied my artistic licence to apply a darker, colour graded, landscape image.

I prefer the portrait version myself...

On the next mound was this rather fine looking Yew next to a fallen tree (I want to say Alder, but I know naff all about trees, despite my interest). I like how the branches of the Yew frame the top of the image and the trunk of the fallen tree leads you in. The light is pretty tasty too..

I also like the closer crop with the mist in the background and cooler light...

It wasn't all gravy and custard though - the scene I really wanted was out of the light and very flat. A reason to come back at least!

So, a fabulous morning was had by all (except for my mate Simon who ended up going somewhere with no mist and arrived at Fonthill just as the best of the mist had lifted!).

With two misty mornings already captured in January - 2022 was shaping up nicely. The only thing that could disrupt things would be 2 months of absolute dross conditions, and what are the chances of that!


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