Water Abstracts at Daeda’s Wood


Here are the results of a trip to a local Woodland Trust site: Daeda’s Wood, near Deddington, Oxfordshire. It’s a young plantation of mostly willow and poplar, with a small river (the Swere) meandering along one side. Since the woodland isn’t mature, there are few opportunities for traditional landscape work, but the river and its overhanging trees provided good opportunities for abstract work of the water surface, using tilt with my 85PC-E to level the focal plane onto the surface of the water.


I experimented for about half an hour with various settings, determining that a shutter speed over about 1/150th was required to freeze the moving water for distinct rather than blurred details in both the surface and the tree reflections – shutter speeds would obviously vary depending upon three factors: light levels (conditions for this trip were overcast, so ISOs were higher than I really wanted but not really an issue for abstract work – generally ISO 1000); speed of the current; the amount of wind, which influences the surface texture.


I planned the shots around conversions to black and white. The black and white shots were processed relatively simply, with exposure changes, setting of black and white points, and desaturation in ACR, followed by black-white gradient mapping and curves in CS6. The best of the colour conversions are also striking – for these I added some split-toning saturation and hue shifts in ACR to my usual processing routine.


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