Nesscliffe Hills

I recently went for a walk around Nesscliffe Hills in Shropshire. I’d not been before so was really pleasantly surprised by how nice a woods it was. I’d taken my Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 and Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 plus a Lee Circular Polariser and 0.9 ND Filter.

Nesscliffe Hills is apparently famous for being a hideout spot for ‘Shropshire’s Robin Hood’. Wild Humphrey Kynaston, the Robin Hood of Shropshire, is reputed to have lived in the cave up 24 steps cut into the rock face on the west of the hill with his horse, Beelzebub, stabled alongside. Here, he could watch out for rich travellers on the road below.

According to folklore, to survive, Sir Humphrey took up with local highwaymen who robbed Welsh wool traders on their way to and from the Oswestry markets. His knowledge of military strategy made him and his gang highly effective and soon he became notorious, though endeared himself to the locals by redistributing a good proportion of the stolen money and goods amongst them.

As hideouts go it’s not a bad one, I found myself thinking, as I took a relaxing walk up the hill and through the woods in the early autumn sunshine. The views from the top as the sun was setting were especially nice.

All photos of the Nesscliffe Hills were taken with the Fuji X-H1 and with the Fujifilm XF16 - 55mm f/2.8 Lens and the  Fujifilm XF10 - 24mm f/4 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your  wedding or events photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

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The Iron Bridge of Ironbridge

Until writing this blog entry, it hadn’t occurred to me that the town of Ironbridge had a different spelling to Iron Bridge, the bridge made of iron located within the town of Ironbridge. Ahem.

Anyway, for those that don’t know, I shamelessly lifted the following from Wikipedia:

The Iron Bridge is a bridge that crosses the River Severn in Shropshire, England. Opened in 1781, it was the first major bridge in the world to be made of cast iron, and was greatly celebrated after construction owing to its use of the new material.

In 1934 it was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument and closed to vehicular traffic. Tolls for pedestrians were collected until 1950, when ownership of the bridge was transferred to Shropshire County Council. It now belongs to Telford and Wrekin Borough Council. The bridge, the adjacent settlement of Ironbridge and the Ironbridge Gorge form the UNESCO Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.[1] The bridge is a Grade I listed building, and a waypoint on the South Telford Heritage Trail.

I recently had a mosey on down one summer evening whilst visiting my family who live ten minutes away. The lighting wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped it would be. Greedily, I was rooting for one of those colourful skies and long shadow kind of evenings, but what I got was nice-ish but pretty flat.

The Iron Bridge underwent a lick of paint in 2018 in a dark red colour, thought to represent the original paintwork of the bridge when first constructed.

All photos of The Iron Bridge in Ironbridge were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF16 - 55mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link and following me on social media.

Wheat Fields and Sunsets and Why I love IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilisation)

I’ve been enjoying the balmy summer evenings of late and whenever possible I try to get out for a stroll in the warm setting sun. It’s probably my favourite part of the day and there’s something calming about watching the world around you slowly winding down for the night as the light gradually fades.

On this occasion, I took a walk through Berkswell, Warwickshire (the small picturesque village perhaps best known for its church - St John Baptist Anglican - parts of it dating back as far as 1150 AD) and it’s wheat fields.

As on most occasions when I’m having a walk, I had a camera with me, and I was lucky to be rewarded with a beautiful sunset. I love these big impressive trees and think they make for great subjects against the colourful sky.

Now, camera nerds are a funny bunch… I’ve noticed a lot of debate around the merits of IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilisation), with some people saying it’s a pointless gimmick and a waste of time, only serving to compromise image quality and add extra size and weight to your equipment. “Why bother? I have a tripod!” they smugly exclaim. These people, clearly have no imagination, foresight or lateral thinking, because there are plenty of scenarios where IBIS is massively useful to have.

Take these shots below, for instance. At least two of them are shot handheld at 1/50 of a second. Whilst not a really slow shutter speed to be shooting handheld, certainly one you’d want to be holding your breath for, ensuring good technique and keeping as still as possible. With IBIS enabled, I feel confident that I won’t see any camera shake at this shutter speed, and so I feel comfortable to click away without a tripod. No lugging one out, adding extra weight to my bag, no setting up, adjusting the height and angle and composition. Just quick and easy handheld shooting with no restrictions.

If that’s not a reason to have IBIS as standard, I don’t know what is.

All photos of Berkswell were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF16 - 55mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link and following me on social media.

Photos from the Clent Hills

Last Saturday I took a trip to the Clent Hills in Worcestershire, near Stourbridge and Halesowen. Amazingly, it's somewhere I've never been before, despite being a big hill fan (read that how you will).

I was pleasantly surprised to find that in reality they're much more impressive than I'd assumed they would be in my head for so many years previously and I definitely will return for a longer exploration some time soon.

Embarrassingly, I had agreed to meet friends there, but in some bizarre episode of self sabotage, my brain was convinced that we had agreed to meet at the Lickey Hills near Birmingham. So upon arriving at their visitor centre and finding no one I recognised therein, it dawned on me - I simply had not listened properly. For any potential wedding clients - I will listen to you intently and will not turn up at the wrong venue.

Anyway, eventually I arrived at the correct hills, where my friends had already set off on their route, so I headed for the highest point to take some photos.

It was quite an overcast day but visibility was pretty good still. I only brought one lens with me to keep weight down - the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2.0. It's not known for being a landscape lens or even focal length, but I must say it performed really well, providing good clarity and definition.

All photos of the Clent Hills were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF35mm f/2.0 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.
Please visit my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.
Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!
Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link and following me on social media.

Poppies in Worcestershire

After seeing some excellent photographs on social media over the last week, I went off in search of poppies on Saturday evening for my own attempts at some poppy photography and to test out my sorely underused wide angle lens.

I had a vague idea where they were and after about 20 minutes of walking in the wrong direction down a busy A-road in the sweltering heat I ended up turning around and then seeing them up on a hill back near where I started. By the time I got there I wasn’t looking very photogenic, but luckily the poppies were.

This was a rare occasion where I’d actually planned to take photos specifically of a particular place, so I made sure to bring a tripod, my polariser, ND filters and Fujinon XF 10 - 24mm lens for some wide angled fun. It’s a lens that I don’t use as often as I would like to, purely because it’s too wide to be very useful for more generalised shooting, but it performed well and suited the location and the look I wanted to achieve.

The lighting wasn’t ideal, with the sun concealed behind cloud for most of the evening, but when it broke through I took my chance to play with what was on offer. There were a few limited occasions when the sun did dip under the clouds to create a beautiful illumination through the sea of red petals making for quite a striking contrast against the overcast landscapes in the background.

Towards the end of my evening when the wind had picked up quite a lot, I took the opportunity to try some long exposures, ranging from 10 to 30 seconds at a time, picking up the frantic movement of the flowers and wheat. I think these are probably my favourites from the batch.

All poppy photos taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link and following me on social media.

A Black and White Cloud Study

So, just as the UK enters a mini heatwave - as I type the sky is basically all blue - I get round to editing a small cloud study from a couple of weeks back. I'm nothing if not contrary.

Whilst I love the sun, I really love a good cloud! And on this occasion they were particularly tall and fluffy.

During processing in Capture One, I decided to go for a low key black and white conversion as it suited the scene. An interesting thing that occurred to me during the editing process was that out of all the things we photograph over time, clouds are some of the most transient; never remaining the same, always moving through the sky and eventually falling away into rain never to return in the same configuration again. And that's why I love a good cloud.

All cloud photos taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF50-140mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link and following me on social media.

Wild Welsh Ponies on the Shropshire Hills

A few weeks ago I spent a couple of days visiting my parents over in Shropshire. I'm lucky that they live in a very scenic part of the country, not far from some reliably lovely views and walks. On my first day I spent the afternoon walking up and around the Long Mynd. It's a place I've been a few times before and it hosts a number of footpaths and routes, with wide open views to all the surrounding Shropshire Hills.

I didn't really have a plan of action with regards to the type of photos I wanted to take whilst I was up there; I'm not much of a planner when it comes to taking images in my own time - I tend to just go with the flow and hope that I've brought the most suitable lenses with me for whatever situation or subject happens to present itself. Spontaneity is a wonderful thing I think, but I had a vague notion of getting some landscape photography done - When in Rome and all that... It came as a genuine surprise, then, to find myself taking portraits of horses for the majority of the excursion! I genuinely had no idea they were up there or that they'd be quite so photogenic.

In fact, after a bit of research, I think what I saw were actually ponies rather than horses, specifically Welsh Carneddau Mountain Ponies (please do correct me in the comments if I'm wrong!). Either way, they were beautiful, rugged looking creatures with quite an impressive range of  colours, textures and hairstyles.

Unfortunately the sun didn't really break through at any point so the lighting was rather dull and flat, but I'm still very pleased with how these turned out. All taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF50-140mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit other pages on my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK.
To buy fine art photography of my UK landscapes visit my Print Gallery.
Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!
Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link.

More Spring Lamb Photography in Warwickshire

I know I've posted a fair few lamb photos recently, but working through my current Capture One catalogue today, I can't help but want to post a few more!

I can honestly say that watching the lambs this Springtime has been one of my favourite nature photography related things of late. In fact, it never fails to put a smile on my face.

Take these little bundles of joy for example. The amount of energy and enthusiasm they have for play as well as the curiosity they have for the environment around them is just lovely to observe. Especially when contrasted against the almost deadpan seriousness of the fully grown sheep, who look to have long forgotten what it's like to be young, happy and carefree.

It turns out humans and sheep aren't that different after all...

Please visit other pages on my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK.

To buy fine art photography of my UK landscapes visit my Print Gallery.

Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link.

Horse Photography in Warwickshire

This week, I have been mostly taking photos of horses…

Horses make pretty great subjects, especially when the sun is low in the sky and the last light of the day creates a nice shimmery glow around them.

I encountered these particular beasts in a field in Warwickshire that they were sharing rather harmoniously with some sheep. They seemed pretty content, being largely left to their own devices, exhibiting a lot of the natural behaviours you’d probably expect to see from a wild band of horses - drinking from a large area of pooled rain water, moving as a herd from one area to the next and following the vocal instructions and body language of the dominant male.

I really love taking my time to just observe when taking photos of wildlife. The longer you stay and the more patient and calm you are, the more natural your animal subjects end up behaving. This in turn tends to present the best photographic opportunities.

Please visit other pages on my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK. If you have a horse or any other pets that you’d like some beautiful photos of, please contact me for a quote.

To buy fine art photography of my UK landscapes visit my Print Gallery.

Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link.

British Bluebells and a Rare British White Bluebell?...

Earlier this week I continued to enjoy the bright spring sunshine by heading to my local woods. I knew the bluebells were out in full effect, having first come across them last year and taking some really nice images then - see my photo gallery for much more landscape and nature photography from the UK.

They manage to make an already beautiful woodlands even more spectacular, to me, almost like something out of a fairy tale, carpeting the grassy floor with so much more colour and variety.

Towards the end of the walk I came across more sheep and lambs in a field next to the woods. I didn't have my long lens with me on this occasion, but I love the character of the old trees in the foreground alongside the intense colour of the bluebells, with the lambs highlighted by the setting sun in the background.

On my way back home as the light was fading fast, I noticed something unusual out of the corner of my eye - a single patch of white bluebells! I'm no horticulturist, but after a bit of googling, I'm fairly certain they're the rare White British Bluebell (as opposed to the more common Spanish variety). In fact, a further google reveals they're as rare as "one in every ten thousand bulbs", so I feel pretty privileged to have spotted some.

If anyone reading this happens to be a bit more savvy with flower species, I'd love to hear from you. Are these the rare White British Bluebell as I suspect they are? (- See last image.)

Please visit my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK.

Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link.