high street ross on wye

Ross On Wye Herefordshire

On a few photo walk trips into Herefordshire, heading down the M5 and you cannot help but notice the quintessential English town of Ross on Wye perched upon a hilltop.  This easter bank holiday weekend I decided to give Ross on Wye in Herefordshire a visit.

A tour of Ross on Wye

I was using the AA’s guide A tour of Ross on Wye from their 50 walks in Herefordshire.  For the first time in a town walk decided to take my DLSR rather than my compact.  Using my camera bag and 18-200mm lens.

Online mapping and route tips

I loaded up the corresponding Ross on Wye walk on the Ordnance Survey online maps on my mobile phone.  This is always a great aid in case you stray from the beaten track.  A tip is to load the OS map and route prior to arriving at your walk.  My mobile provider is currently vodafone and I cannot always get a good internet connection for the downloading of the map and route data when I arrive at my starting point.  Another tip is to pin the location of your car or the starting point on google maps, again in case you get completely lost especially more remote areas.

The best time to check your GPS location against the route on the OS map is just after you have taken a path at a junction.  You only have to walk 20 meters or so to see if you have made an error.  Its then easy to correct yourself, backtrack and take the right path.

The first couple of miles of the walk take you through some fields and then a housing estate pass what was once a main railway line although you would never know and up a hill with no views and then back down into Ross on Wye.  All very uninspiring and as of yet had not taken a single photo worth taking.  But at least I was getting some exercise and fresh air.

Saint Marys Church

Inside the grounds of Saint Marys Church in Ross on Wye managed to get a few nice handheld shots of the church.  The cross to the left is known as the Plague cross as a memorial to over 300 people who died of the plague in Ross on Wye.

saint marys church
saint marys church 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 18mm, HDR

The scenes had a lot of contrast between the sky and ground with a wide aperture and fast shutter speed I could take multiple exposures and merge later as HDR post processing.

saint marys graveyard
pink blossom trees 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 35mm, HDR

There were promises of great views across Herefordshire from the walled prospect in the church yard of Saint Marys.  But I was not impressed, to many distractions and man made constructions to be worthy of a photo, so I not take one.  For great views of Herefordshire check out the Golden Valley and the Black Mountains.

Ross on Wye High Street

At least now I had got my camera out and my shutter happy finger was firing away.   Some quintessential English town high street shots in the town center of Ross on Wye.

high street ross on wye
high street 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 32mm, HDR

Again fast shutter and wide open Aperture allowed more HDR photos.  The main attraction in the high street of Ross on Wye is the man of Ross House former home of English philanthropist John Kyrle which overlooks the Market house and tourist visitor center.

man of ross house
man of ross house 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 50mm, HDR

The world needs alot more selfless souls like John Kyrle unfortunately nature does not lend advantage to the genuine good only the good at breeding.

Time to take a little break in Costa Coffee and then a hot crusty sausage roll in Greggs.  Yes all the familiar corporate commercial names exist in Ross on Wye along with more traditional family run businesses.

River Wye

The walk ends along the river Wye where Ross on Wye bears it name.  Apparently it is here by the riverside that English tourism was given birth in the 17th century with organised boat trips down the river wye.

mallards river wye
mallards ross on wye 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, 32mm
white swan river wye
Swan Ross on Wye 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, 200mm

Today there was only hungry mallard ducks and white swans hoping I would throw them some titbits.  I was not in the mood for sharing my sausage roll though, I guess I am no John Kyrle.  Now with moving subject matter like water, ducks and swans you cannot use HDR.  So switched to single shot.

Wrong Polariser

To reduce reflections from the water had brought a polariser but the wrong polariser.  I had not brought my screw in polariser that attaches directly to the lens I had brought the polariser I slot into my filter holder out of habit.  Silly boy, lesson learnt.  So these photos of the river Wye lack polarisation.  For the swan wanted to focus on the head at maximum focal length which was a problem for the auto focus, so had to switch to manual focus.  The swan was continually heading my way and at maximum focal length and maximum aperture gives you a small depth of field. The photo of the swan is not as sharp as I would have liked.

Nice day out and photo walk around Ross on Wye in Herefordshire, not as many photos taken as I would have liked due to a lack of subject matter and views.  The best view of Ross on Wye is when you drive in on the M5.  Maybe next time I will fake a breakdown on the hard shoulder solely to capture the best photos ever taken of Ross on Wye.

Ross on Wye Herefordshire