I manged to escape the normal work day for a few minutes the other day and headed off the Gelli Hir Nature Reserve near Cilonnen, Gower. Normally on a sunny day I wouldn’t consider going out to make any pictures in a woodland. The bright sunlight makes the scene far too contrasty, making it difficult to get good pictures. Bright light can work well sometimes, but you are limited to backlight images generally. It still pays to wait till a bit later in the day as well as some of the harshness of the light is removed.

I didn’t follow my own advice and deciding that I needed to challenge myself a bit I went out at the ‘wrong’ time to see what I could manage images wise. It certainly made me think more, plus in noticed that my failure rate on images was greater. Overall the results were not too bad for 30 minutes playing around.

It was the mixture of ripe and ripening berries that drew my attention to the black berries below. I wanted something different from a normal image, so I used my shadow to place the black berries in shade to contrast with the sun lit background. This was an attempt to try and produce an image that was different from?a straight image with every thing in the same light. The image sort of worked, but the berries were too dark and lifeless. A weak burst of fill in flash, about 1.7 stops less than the camera exposure, lifted the berries and added some shine back to the ripening fruits. The use of a shallow depth of field, helps to focus the attention on the fruits and looses distracting leaf detail in the background.


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  • I particularly like the fern fronds, the fade-out giving such depth …

  • Nick says:

    Hi Caroline,

    Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you like the fern image. It took quite a few attempts to get this composition. I could see what I wanted the image to portray in my mind, but struggled to get it in camera. Eventually I got close enoough with the posted image. What I originally envisaged wasn’t possible with the lenses I had with me at the time.

    Best wishes,


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