Waterfall Swallet - Hidden Waterfall near Eyam

Hidden Waterfall near Eyam
Location: There aren't many 'real' waterfalls in the Peak District, and there are none quite so accessible as this one on the road between Eyam to Foolow. If you go looking for it don't expect to find it spouting forth from some nearby hill or crag. This waterfall is hidden below ground level. Looking across the fields all you will see is a small group of trees huddled around, and hiding a deep depression into which a small stream falls. It's a little gem and well worth a visit if you're in the area. But..... Please Note: the waterfall is on private land. Please respect the rights of the landowner and get prmission before visiting.

Technique: Although the light was poor - an overcast day, in a dark pit surrounded by trees - there was plenty of reflected light from the surrounding snow and 'white' limestone walls. This made exposure difficult. I normally use Aperture priority (for depth of field) but judging by the histogram I was getting clipping of both shadow and highlights. So I used Manual exposure with a fixed aperture of F/8, and dialled in a speed of 1/20sec that gave me a 1ev underexposure. (Its always easier to recover shadow detail than blown highlights). I knew that I then had sufficient margin (+/-2ev) in post processing to be able to balance shadow and highlights in the snow. My only regret was not having a tripod with me. In retrospect, by slowing the exposure to say 1 or 2 sec. I could have blurred the water and given the impression that the waterfall was much fuller than it was.

Camera Work: RAW(12 bit); focal length 18mm; Exposure Manual, F/8 @ 1/20sec. ISO100

Post Processing:
  • In Nikon View NX: applied Landscape Picture Control (adjusted for sharpening, +8, and brightness -1).
  • In Nikon Capture NX2: reset White Balance Gray Point to 0.94(red), 1.06(blue) using a marquee sample of the sky; reduced exposure a further -2ev; increased highlight protection 30% and shadow protection 88% then added Black & White points in rock and snow resp. and reduced the luminosity of the white point (to add further detail in the snow).
Q: why the need for such large scale changes, given an already reduced exposure in camera? What went wrong?

A: on comparing the histogram in camera to that in NX2 there was a marked difference - the camera histogram was more compressed, showing a lot more highlight detail had been captured. NX2 showed highlights were badly clipped.

Moral: the in camera histogram cannot always be trusted when shooting in RAW. I am told the histogram represents the equivalent JPEG capture. In this situation I would have done better to consult the camera's Highlights playback screen, which indeed showed highlight problems. Thank goodness for RAW post processing packages like NX2!!

In conclusion I shall definately be paying this area of the Peaks more attention in the future - the geology is fascinating. For further info its well worth visiting http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/79581/middleton-dale-geology-trail.pdf

Squirrel Foodstop

One consolation of the recent bad weather has been the wildlife in the garden. Most of the time I didn't even think of picking up a camera (wildlife photography has never been my thing). But I couldn't resist this  picture.
I always thought that squirrels were territorial, esp. where food was concerned. But shortly before this picture was taken there was a group of eight foraging for food in my garden. Sorry though - no picture - I was mesmerised by their antics and it wasn't until the party had finished that I was tempted to get my camera.

Sheringham Park and Beach Walk

At last a day clear of precipitation, damp and with good overall light. A good day for a bracing walk on the coast I think.

(although some might prefer a loftier view)
Location: After parking at the National Trust's Sheringham Park, Barbara and I had a pleasant, liesurely stroll down to the beach, (see the EveryTrail map at the bottom of this posting).

We had been expecting to find the sea, as usual, lapping gently up to the pebble beach, and no sign of sand, but....
- from the cliff tops the exposed chalk looked like sea foam -
Surprise surprise, for the first time in the thirty years we've been visiting this place, the tide was very low, and the underlying chalk had been exposed.
The exposed chalk forms a resistant shoal (called Robin Friend), which is only exposed at low spring tides.

Rare flint ammonites are occasionally exposed (see to left). Although we saw these strange structures at the time, we could only speculate as to what they were, and I didn't take any pictures. Hence the picture, here, is courtesy of Bill Little, Sheringham and the Norfolk Museums and Archeology Service.

Inspiration: Despite there being plenty of snow over the past few months, I didn't fancy adding my name to the already considerable list of people calling out the rescue services. So this expanse of exposed white chalk was the nearest I was going to get to a 'white out' this year.

I know - sad, (but safe - I'm not willing to take unnecessary risks for my 'art').

my picture of the day - The Meringue Coast -

Technique: I always expect a degree of over exposure with my D80's matrix metering and I'm rarely disappointed. I could have adjusted the camera's exposure compensation, but life's too short - I've always been able to satisfactorily adjust exposure in NX2, (the +/- 2ev 'safety' margin has always been enough - just). Now if I knew I didn't have to post process, in order to apply the Landscape Picture Control (see previous posting) then I might try to get the exposure right in camera. Hmm, maybe I need a new camera (now there's a thought).
My only other thought was to maximise Depth of Field by setting exposure to Aperture Priority and closing down the apperture from F/8 until the Depth of Field preview displayed a continuously sharp image. Not difficult with such good light reflecting back at the camera from the white chalk.

With the sun behind me the only problem was keeping my own shadow out of frame.
Camera Work: RAW(12bit), focal length 29mm; exposure (aperture priority) : ISO 100, F/10 at 1/200sec.; (default camera settings)

Post Processing:
  • In Nikon View NX applied Landscape Picture Control (adjusted for sharpening, +8, and brightness -1).
  • In Nikon Capture NX2 reduced exposure -0.48ev and increased shadow protection to 50%

Sheringham Park and Beach

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging


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