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DSC1551 MO UllswaterStudyI USIt's no secret to those who keep an eye on my blogs, that I like to simplify my images as much as I can. I just find these types of images more calming and satisfying on the eye. I'm not sure if it's because I'm better at it or that I derive the most satisfaction from them.

DSC1551 MO UllswaterStudyI USWhichever it is though, I know that they are no easier to create out in the field. In fact, they can be harder to make due to the fact that natural landscapes are by their very nature complex, usually unkempt and rarely intentionally fashioned. Therefore, finding and working on an image can be challenging to say the least.

I also know the more I'm able to get out into the landscape, the easier my ability to find and compose a successful image is. This isn't always easy due to other work commitments but I do try as best I can to make some time to head out so that I can keep my 'eye in'. I feel it's also important not to rush around once I'm at a location as this ultimately leads to an unsuccessful outcome. Instead I like to take a more considered and 'curious' approach to compositions. By curious I mean I ask myself "what's beyond that hill?", "what would that image look like from below/high/the side", "would it look best in 4x5, 1x1, panoramic, black and white" etc... This way I'm always considering all options so that I don't leave the area and think "why the hell didn't I do it that way!"

Today's image is a long exposure black and white image taken as I was leaving the Lake District after a running a one to one workshop with a client for the week. The car was packed but there was still some light left so it seemed silly not to take advantage of last light before heading home. Having spent the whole week scouring the Lakes for compositions and ideas my eye was already honed, so it didn't take long to seek out this pleasing composition from the shores of Ullswater. 

Using my Nikon D800E and Zeiss 25mm I knew I wanted to simplify the image therefore I used a Lee big stopper and set the camera to Monochrome. In order to be sure to extract as much information from below the large foreground boulder I needed to use a Lee 2-stop soft graduated filter just above the boulder to even out the light. 

In post-processing I lightened the foreground grasses to soften the hardness of the boulder and have since printed the image onto Epson's Ultra Smooth Fine Art paper which looks very pleasing indeed.

As usual, this image and more can be found in the Monochrome Style I section of the gallery - enjoy!