A recent Sunday morning saw me take the camera out to capture some images of the local land. I had an urge to shoot some of the beautiful Surrey countryside and the weather was close to perfect. First of all, I headed up to Bookham for a walk round the surrounding area and see what I could capture.
After half an hour or so, I realised that it didn’t satisfy my landscape photography itch. While I was still able to capture an image of a stile (for some reason, I find them intriguing) and another overlooking the railway station, I realised that I wasn’t going to find the photo that I had in my mind. I really wanted to capture a more natural, rolling landscape.
I jumped in my car and drove the 20 minutes or so to Headley Heath – a popular spot high in the hills of the North Downs.
Headley Heath was acquired by the National Trust in 1946 from the Lord of the Manor, where it was used as common land by the locals for grazing their animals. By the 1930s the grass had given way to bracken, trees and heather.
Headley Heath is beautiful at all seasons, with over 500 acres in which to walk, picnic. In fact, Headley Heath was named as one of the top 20 picnic locations in the UK by The Guardian.
This is where I captured my favourite work of the morning. To capture the full range of colours that this wonderful landscape offers, I used the bracketing function to capture three images at different exposures. I also used a tripod and remote trigger to minimise any camera movement, so when the images are merged, there is no ‘ghosting’ effect. (A tutorial on how to use the exposure bracketing function will be published in due course).
Hopefully, I’ve been able to convey some of the beauty of this idyllic spot. It’s certainly made me want to shoot more of picturesque Surrey.
Author: Stuart Tree