Inspired by viewings of Black and White Photographer, Michael Kenna's superb work, I came across an image on his website recently that I swore must be of a copse in a little village by the name of Great Smeaton in North Yorkshire. The reason I was so sure is that I lived in Great Smeaton for many years and this copse always stuck out as being very photogenic (although I wasn't into photography as much back then).
I thus decided to make a note to visit there myself at some point soon to see what I could make of it. That day came sooner than I thought as I was heading to Darlington on the road through Great Smeaton to collect my good friend and fellow north east landscape photographer, John Harbron as we'd arranged to head out for the day with our cameras.
This particular day was very cold yet bright and everywhere was covered in hoar-frost. It was only when I was passing said copse that I remembered Mr Kenna's image, so I made a U turn back to the area. The copse sits high on an embankment overlooking the busy A167 but fortunately the farmer ploughs the field so that the lead-in lines of his tractor run parallel with the A167 meaning that an image can be taken from the far quieter 'B' road that heads towards East Cowton.
Setting the image up was pretty straight forward using the Nikon D800E with the 45mm PCE tilt-shift lens (although I used neither tilt nor shift). My intention was to make this a square image so I did have to allow for this as the camera (annoyingly), doesn't have a 1:1 format mode. I decided to use my Lee Polariser to cut down the glare from the field and create more definition in the sky.
Really liking Michael Kenna's version I also intended to make this a black and white image, particularly as I'm really getting into B&W at the moment. However, having tried this image both ways I've decided it looks far better in colour.