Graham Riddell is a specialist freelance photographer at Graham Riddell Photography in the Scottish Borders, offering a stunning collection of nature-themed Wall Art & Stock images. Call 0777 764 5813. Commissions also welcomed for Portrait Photography, Event Photography, Corporate Photography, Publishing and PR and photography lessons.
It's 4:30am and I rise to look out the bedroom window.
There is a thick mist covering the land and I am thinking to myself, is it worth chasing the sunrise this morning?
Yesterday had been stunning and I missed the whole thing so I manage to convince myself that it is worthwhile, as the thought in my head seems to be saying, "it will be worth it"
Stealthily I get dressed, pack my gear and head downstairs to make myself a cup of coffee. My bag is equipped with two cameras, one has a 24-70mm lens and the other has a 70-200mm. This is my standard combination. Also in the bag are my Cokin ND filters, remote shutter release and a wide lens (17-40mm) just in case. Upstairs, (undetected by me), my good wife is disturbed from her slumber and hears me driving out into the thick, enveloping morning mist. So much for stealth. It's a quarter after five.
The location is not far and I am ready to start within 15 mins of leaving the house. Camera 1 is secured to the tripod with the wider lens on a full frame Canon 5D and set to 35mm. Camera 2 is a Canon 7D with the crop sensor so my 70-200mm is extended closer to 112mm x 320mm. I begin with 800 ISO on the tripod combination and 1250 on the handheld - the stabiliser helps especially in this low light. As the light improves I cut the ISO back to more agreeable levels.
Above me the crescent moon is making its way through the tree tops while all around is shrouded in mist. Its about a quarter to six when I take my first exposure and I am hoping the sun will break through soon and melt the mist to provide excellent views over the town and the surrounding hills. By eight fifteen I am still waiting and although the sun is up, the mist persists. One last exposure to record the event of its faint appearance but not exactly what I was after.
Having taken a few shots in the intervening hours I satisfy myself that 'at least I tried' and pack up, grateful I had decided not to ascend the hill behind me.
On the way back the sun breaks free and is shining on the roadside and as I turn into town, the mist is evaporating off the surrounding hills.
Too late to do anything more about it I return home and head back to bed to catch up on some lost sleep. Later I download my files and have a browse. I always believe there is something worth taking and so it proves. Not the shots I was hoping for, but other shots that I would never even have ventured out for.
It's a funny old game this landscape photography lark. You never really know what your next shot will be. Here's one then and a link to others in my stock theme 'Mist'. Still unique, still worthwhile.