Carding Mill Valley in Shropshire is run by the National trust. The Shropshire hills are lovely for walkers. Beautiful heather clad rolling hills. When you arrive you park by the stream.
The path up the valley is rocky so be careful walking. The walk follows the stream up the valley. As you walk up you will see the small but pretty Lightspout waterfall. It’s a lovely place to take a break. Just be a little careful climbing down to it. There are plenty of big rocks to sit and have a drink from your flask.
From the waterfall you can carry on walking up the valley taking a route to the right or to the left. Either way will take you to the hill tops. There is a big circular route to follow. The walking is fairly easy though obviously you are climbing up.
On a good day the scenery is amazing as you follow the route along the top of the hills. It is worth stopping a couple of times to take in the views.
As you follow the path round it will take you back to the valley past the waterfall. When you get back to the valley there is a cafe waiting for you. Something I like to take advantage of.
The main photo shows the stream that you follow up the valley. I set the camera to f22 to give a large depth of field. You must get as much in focus as possible on a shot like this. Having something to lead the eye and give depth to an image. The stream does this perfectly.
Pick a lovely day and you will have great experience. Go get some great images.
With urban portraits, do not be frightened to be different and try something new. Often it is best to fit people into scenes but here is a head shot and the emphasis is on the eyes. The face in this shot is cut into sections by some bars on the front of a hotel but the eyes hold the viewer. The image has been made into a high key image to take out some of the tonal range and leave the beautiful eyes as the main point of focus. Part of working outdoors is to take what nature throws at you and here the hair is left to it’s own devices, it has worked out beautifully in this shot giving the shot an extra dimension.
This black and white shot I took up on the Shropshire hills. This shot really is about the contrast in the shades between the black and white. Whilst the shot is of a valley between two hills, it would not be of great interest without a main focal point. I have made the focal point the rotted tree branch and grass around it. It is important to give your shot a focal point, something that adds interest and that leads the eye into the picture.I do use small apertures to get as much depth of field as possible but when you focus on something so close as the branch and grass the distance will go soft.
Most modern cameras are capable of great quality images, to make the most of this always shoot in RAW mode and process using a programme such as lightroom. Whilst I do believe that artistic content is most important I do love to see great craftsmanship and do believe that it will enhance your images.