When you get up early enough on a summer morning to see the sun sideways through the trees, and the mist still rising from the river, it feels for the rest of the day as if you have been let in on a secret. This is the river Rothay from the stepping stones, at about 6.30am.
I have an ongoing fascination with the short section of the River Rothay near Rydal in the English Lake District, and spend quite a lot of time wandering through the surrounding trees and woodlands. These birches seem to step into the background during summer, when their weeping branches are an obscuring veil, but in winter their bright bark is set off against the russet leaves of beech saplings.
I've managed to drag myself out of bed at dawn quite a few times over the past few months--it's not so easy in the summer--and it nearly always feels like it was worth it. Rydal Water is one of the busiest out-of-town places in the Lake District on a sunny summer day, but at this time in the morning it is usually deserted. There are more Lake District images on my Lake District portfolio page.
This image is available as a print at the following link, or by using the "Buy Prints" box below.
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I promise I'll stop writing about the Sigma DP1 Quattro I was loaned last month, but not just yet. I took this picture soon after the camera arrived, in a wood not far from where I live. I've photographed this tree a lot--in fact it features in one of my pieces for the Northern Exposure exhibition--so I know this is a difficult location in terms of available light. In the past Sigma DP series cameras have struggled with low light, high contrast situations, so this was a deliberate test. The Quattro did very well. That wide lens makes for a lot of drama.
Technical stuff: This is taken handheld at ISO400 and 1/60th of a second, settings which, though I love it dearly, I wouldn't even consider with my older Sigma DP2 Merrill. I underexposed this to keep the shutter speed up, so the post processing involved fixing that and dropping the saturation a bit.