Monday, 17 September 2012

Telegraph Hill

Telegraph Hill, September 2012 © Graham Dew

Telegraph Hill, September 2012

To the east of Winchester there is some wonderful high ground known as Cheesefoot Head. It is not grand or that high, but just has a nice feeling of space and long large views of the surrounding countryside. On the road out there your attention is caught to the north by the impressive Matterley Bowl, a huge natural amphitheatre where Eisenhower addressed the troops prior to D-Day. You would probably miss a small wood to the south. The map says that this sits on Telegraph Hill, but few people know this place by name, as the hill is not on a footpath and given over to the plough apart from the thicket of trees at the summit.

I often return here to take pictures, particularly when the light is good and the sky is ribboned with cirrus clouds. A couple of weeks ago the weather was just this, so I rushed off as soon as I had got back from work. This time the fields were striped yellow and brown from the brushing of the combine harvester that had recently taken in the wheat and I wanted to make a feature of this in my picture. There were some lovely high clouds above which I knew would work well too in a still movie type joiner. I photographed the field every time I cross the boundary of an ‘up’ and ‘down’ sweep to emphasise the lines left in the field, holing the camera higher and a at a steeper angle for the two closer foreground rows. This has the effect of creating a superwide but natural perspective for the final composition. All the cells were shot using the 45/f1.8 Olympus lens.

The original picture was imagined and shot as a 9×7 rectangle with some spares. When it came to the edit the composition worked better when reduced and reordered to a square. All the compositing and tonal adjustments were done in Lightroom, which I now use in preference to Photoshop for creating regular grid joiners.

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