April has come and for Sunday looks like there will be plenty of sunshine. Decided to give Ashleworth meadows and Hasfield a visit which are along the river Severn just outside of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.
I was using the Severnside around Ashleworth and Hasfield from the AA’s 50 walks around Gloucestershire as my guide. Ashleworth is a bit further down the river Severn than Deerhurst but a longer walk of 8 miles. I arrived in Ashleworth quite early before 8am but way too late for dawn. I think for dawn and sunset photos it needs to be a planned photo shoot the area having already been well scouted out rather than a long random walk.
The walk from Ashleworth begins from the Tithe barn. With the Tithe barn in Ashelworth being one of the main visitor attractions of this walk. Tithe is old English for taxes and a Tithe barns purpose was for the collection of taxes by the monasteries in the form of produce by local people who worked the land.
From the Tithe barn you walk down to Ashleworth quay which is now the site of a friendly pub by the river Severn called the Boat Inn. In old times the quay was a popular crossing point over the river Severn.
Its then the longest stretch of the walk along the river severn with views of Ashleworth meadows and barrow hill to the west and Sandhurst hill across the river to the east.
Some nice low morning transient light hitting the trees and barrow hill. I took the first picture above of the Ashleworth meadows and barrow hill without any filters. Had to zoom in a little to 40mm as too much empty space in the foreground.
Filters and High Dynamic Range
I then experimented with filters, a polariser, a 2 stop GND for the sky, polariser and 2 stop GND and last 3 separate exposures without filters and then using HDR in lightroom to merge them post processing.
It is known that applying filters, extra glass can have the effect of slightly reducing quality and sharpness of the image, making them softer with lower contrast. But without a high dynamic range to start with or low reflective light then filters are just not necessary. You should always check your histogram before determining if any filters are necessary. The best of the photo bunch was the one above without any filters.
The banks of the river Severn along this stretch of Ashleworth meadows are mostly overgrown and was hard to get a good photo of the river.
Managed to find a gap along the bank of the river Severn and was still setting up when a duck swam into view so just hit the shutter button. I like the picture. You can see the sun had now disappeared behind a layer of cloud.
At the Haw you leave the river Severn and start heading to the little village of Hasfield. Managed to get some moody shots of some inquisitive sheep with Sandhurst hill in the background across the river.
Filters were applied, just hoping the sheep would not move with a relatively long shutter speed, still pretty fast for a sheep.
Nice walk up to Hasfield pass Great House and then you are greeted with spring in full bloom view of Hasfield which almost looks like a model. The sun was coming back out, blue skies returning lighting up the outskirts of Hasfield.
Again experimenting with filters and focal lengths for this frame of Hasfield. I wanted to emphasis the white blossom on the tree and the house behind, but there is alot going on in the frame and would have rather have excluded the modern buildings to the left. Again check the histogram first without filters to determine if the range needs reeling in a little with a filter or two. The polariser has emphasised the sky but got a blocked section top right.
Into the village of Hasfield, and took a little detour to the church where got a telephoto shot of some daffodils hoping for some bokeh on the church behind. Could only stop down to f 5.0 giving me an ISO of 800, but I like the photo. Could have got more bokeh by moving back more and zooming into 200mm. The dafodills are now on their last legs and beginning to shrivel up and die.
Last leg of the journey from Hasfield back to Ashelworth and a different angle on Barrow hill. Would have liked to walk up top of Barrow hill but think its private land with no public footpaths leading to the top.
Back to Ashelworth and some final photos of Rapeseed fields in front of the Tithe barn. Again experimenting with filters after my last Rapeseed field shots around Teddingtion a few weeks previous. Having started the walk early was a little early for a rest in the pub the Boat Inn which not open until midday on a Sunday. Good photo shoot though and the lesson I took away is to always check the histogram first before applying any graduated or neutral density filters.