Day fourteen of my photography challenge – Lower Hollesley Common
Today I decided to visit Lower Hollesley Common. Despite living just down the road this part of the common is somewhere I haven’t walked before so I felt it would be interesting to explore. The day dawned with bright blue skies although the wind was brisk and there was still a chill in the air.
The common is a very varied habitat with some interesting areas of woodland and open heathland. There are some lovely oak trees and a really nice wooded area full of beech surrounding a more traditional pine plantation.
The path into the woods looked quite interesting and I loved the varying neutral shades with a tiny hint of green moss on the edges.
The straight smooth trunks of the beech trees were a lovely contrast to some of the oaks that were growing amongst them. This dead tree with its pale trunk really stood out from its neighbours and was an obvious focal point.
This beech plantation is definitely somewhere I will return to in the autumn as the colours then should be stunning.
There are some quite characterful oak trees growing on the edge off the beech plantation and these made great subjects with the uniform beech trunks as a a backdrop. I reduced the clarity of the background in post processing to help the foreground tree stand out a bit more from its surroundings.
I wasn’t sure if colour was the best processing choice for all the woodland images as winter is not the most colourful season in the forest. This location would work really well on a foggy or rainy day and I will definitely be back to capture these images again in better conditions. However I felt that black and white captured the mood of the woods really well.
On the other side of the wood I found an amazing old oak tree which was growing horizontally to the ground with its branches splayed out all around it. It had the most amazing lichens growing all over its trunk and branches so I used one of my shots to capture these.
The more open parts of the heath are covered in gorse bushes which are all beginning to come into flower. I love the vibrant colour of these tiny flowers and although I didn’t have the best lens with me for capturing them, I couldn’t resist taking a shot. This was taken with a 24-70mmm lens shooting through the yellow flowers to create some blurry areas of yellow to frame the flowers in the centre of the shot.
At the far side of the wood I came across an area of Scotts pine trees which looked very old. One had a huge trunk with some lovely bark patterns and some beautiful colours.
When shooting in the woods or on the heath I am always looking out for different trees that stand out from the crowd. This little group of silver birch was quite eye catching and I loved the vibrant green area of moss in the foreground.
Back in the woodland I found an old tree stump and tried to arrange this so that it was framed by two of the more characterful trees in the background. Again I reduced the clarity of the background in post production to help the trunk stand out more.
My final shot of the day was of the goats on the heath. I have been meaning to photograph them for ages and today I got my opportunity.
For an area of heath that is just on my doorstep I can’t understand why I have never visited. After my walk around today I will definitely be returning as there is so much variety and some really interesting trees that are worth capturing in better conditions.