Last week I led my final 2019 photography holiday for HF Holidays. It was up in the Lake District at their Monk Coniston house near Coniston Water. (It’s a curious anomaly that only one body of water in the Lake District is called something Lake, or Lake something – Google it). The holiday was all about capturing movement; that’s camera movement or subject movement (or both!). Our first exercise was all about moving the camera.
It’s handy that the Monk Coniston house is in the middle of an arboretum. Trees are a great subject for moving the camera. With so many to choose from it was worth seeking out a group of four trees with a good arrangement. Setting my Olympus E-M10 camera to my default 1/5th second shutter speed gave just the right amount of movement blur. The sky highlights give a great contrast to the green of the foliage.
One thing I talk about when I am doing tuition on camera movement, is the fact that information at right angles to the direction of movement gets spread out and becomes far less prominent. This metal fence is a perfect example of that. I panned from right to left to accentuate the horizontal structure of the fence. The vertical support posts, and even a small tree, have pretty well disappeared, leaving the horizontal bars hovering unsupported.
Moving water, which the Lake District is well provided with, is a great subject for moving subject photography. Skelwith Force, a waterfall near Ambleside, has a big drop, and the shape as the water rolls over the lip of the falls is very attractive. I popped my Huawei Mate 10 Pro mobile phone on a tripod and set it to “Silky Water” mode. I tried various shutter speeds and found that not much changed once it was past 8 seconds. The dark and wet rocks make a great contrast to the lightness of the water, and the autumn leaves give a seasonal context. Having a phone that does long exposure work without needing a 10-stop ND filter is a useful teaching aid.
Looking forward to next year’s holidays.