Behind The Image: David Clapp’s battle for autumn colours in the Lake District

Behind The Image: David Clapp's battle for autumn colours in the Lake District

In his latest post, guest blogger and professional photographer David Clapp recounts his ongoing struggles with the weather when trying to shoot autumn colours in the Lake District. Read his story and landscape photography tips below.


Behind The Image: David Clapp's battle for autumn colours in the Lake District

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 70-300mm f/4L IS @ 200mm, f/8 for 1/20sec

The best things come to those who wait… or do they?

I have been up in the Lake District for the past week, trying to make the best of the autumnal conditions, but its not been going according to plan.

The autumn colours have been rather out of sync. The beeches have turned first, then the oaks, but the larches haven’t gone yellow at all, in fact they are all rather military green.

With such strange colour palettes to cope with, the last thing you need is poor weather… for days on end… but sadly this is the problems that the landscape photographer has to deal with.

This image represents half an hours decent work in three days. Most of the time has been spent watching rain run down the car window, or sitting in tea rooms.

Then it would all come together, fleeting moments of strange side lighting blasting the landscape with beautiful light, leaving me running around trying desperately to make the most of it. By today the damage has been done.

With 70% of the leaves on the floor, as gales and heavy rain battered have battered the Lakes, the opportunities are now few and far between.

This beautiful oak is an example of why we do all this running around. When trees like this, with such character and colour are caught is side light, the photography can be utterly sublime. Just a few seconds is all it takes and when it all comes together, the sense of accomplishment can be something very special.

Processing – this is a relatively straight image. There is a little darkening to the land beneath, to concentrate attention to the centre of the frame, but the impending doom from above is very real. Within ten minutes, I was sitting in the car being pummelled with sleet.

The clarity slider pays dividends in Lightroom, as did some gentle cloning. I removed a sheep scratching his bum on the fence, which didnt really add anything for us anyway!

The colour is very real, with nothing added except a little contrast. Light is the essence of great photography, a point worth remembering.

I have also been trialling out a new Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and what a camera it is. Such superb low noise, great colour and excellent feel to the images.


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