Box Hill

On the way back from a evening out yesterday, my wife and I found ourselves with a little extra time before we had to return our car. So, down to Box Hill we did ride. Well, drive; we were in a car, not a Vincent Black Lightning. But I digress, and much earlier than usual. Crap, there I go again. Where was I? Right, Box Hill.

Box Hill is similar to Lightwater Country Park, in that there is quite a bit of scenery and all sorts of wildlife. We didn’t have much luck with on the wildlife front (unless you count a couple of school groups, which would be unfair – most wildlife is more civilised than school kids), but there were a few interesting images to be found.

We started on top of the hill. I attempted to take a panorama with several images stitched together but they didn’t mesh together particularly well – for now, I think I’ll need to rely on an iPhone app for that sort of image.

There was, however, trees.

Exposure 1/250sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -2.0

One of the few bits of wildlife we saw was quite far away.

Exposure 1/500sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0

And, of course, Holly quickly took up her usual position of waiting for Rob.

Exposure 1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0

The only other bit of wildlife we saw (wait, that’s not supposed to describe my wife as wildlife, I might need to rewrite that sentence) was this little butterfly.

Exposure 1/400sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.44 in post

We also came across a grave atop the hill. Major Peter Labelliere was buried atop the hill upside down after his death (which, I’m told, he accurately prophesised).

Exposure 1/25sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

One thing I am beginning to come to terms with is my landscapes are decidedly lacking. I am following a couple of blogs that post some impressive landscapes in the hope of finding some inspiration. For now, however, this is about as good as I can come up with:

Exposure 1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 100

After that, I gave up on the landscapes for now.

Exposure 1/640sec, f/5.6, ISO 100

I really like the colours on that image, and the way to branch disappears out of the focal plane.

Also similar to Lightwater, there were quite a few paths to photograph too.

Exposure 1/640sec, f/4.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.67

Annoyingly, the weather was very changeable on the day. The sun kept popping in and out changing images from bright and well-lit to grey and dull in an instant. However, when the sun was out, it caught the greenery almost perfectly. Inspired by this shot that I saw on Flickr, I tried to create one of my own, with varying success.

Exposure 1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0
Exposure 1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0

As you will shortly see, when the sun went in, the effect was lost completely:

Exposure 1/20sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0

It was also at this point that I became acutely aware of the fact that my wife was waiting for me.

Exposure 1/10sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33 (-0.88)

When the sun did peek itself through the clouds, it did cast some interesting light over the place.

Exposure 1/60sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0

Compared to my Flickr inspiration, my images suffered from a lack of a decent background to bring the foreground object into sharper contrast (something I only noticed whilst comparing the two today whilst writing this entry).

Our final discovery of our short visit was Box Hill Fort, built to be one of London’s last lines of defence in the late 1890s from an invasion by Europe.

Exposure 1/200sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

Atop the fort were a line of chimneys, which allowed me to try a perspective shot before we headed home.

Exposure 1/800sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

We only had a short time at Box Hill, but after strolling around for a couple of hours and taking some leaflets from the visitors centre, I’m sure we’ll be returning at some point in the future, so watch this space.

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