meadow brown butterfly sussex border path

Sussex Border Path

After leaving Pershore in the West Midlands and having taken an extended vacation abroad I was now back in the UK and staying in a country hotel near Charlwood in Surrey.  In-between visiting family I took some country walks along the Sussex Border path.

I rarely used my DLSR while abroad, too hot and it was too heavy preferring to use my compact for some snaps.  I only use my DLSR for landscape photography here in the UK, where the temperature is much cooler and I was keen to do some photo shoots again in the English countryside.

I was not expecting any stunning scenery along the Sussex Border Path but using the Ordnance survey maps online I just followed some paths and took photos of what I could and whatever presented itself.

Meadow Brown Butterflies

Being June and although a cloudy day there were many Meadow Brown Butterflies flying around.  I managed to get up close to one Meadow Brown butterfly put my zoom on full and ISO on auto and snap a handheld shot.

meadow brown butterfly sussex border path
meadow brown butterfly 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 200 mm

Love the Bokeh in this photo and the color contrast of the butterfly against the green foliage backdrop and this is with an auto ISO of 1600 and you would expect some image noise but its not noticeable.

Gatwick Airport

Further along the Sussex Border path and it was getting noisy with jets constant landing and taking off from nearby Gatwick Airport perhaps another chance for a photo though.  With Gatwick being one of the most busy airports in the world.  A second runway here and the Sussex Border path may be no more.

takeoff gatwick airport sussex border path
takeoff gatwick airport 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 100, 200 mm

Cloudy days often give high contrast between the sky and the ground, too much for the dynamic range of the camera and often needing a graduated neutral density filter to even things out a bit.  Even on cloudy days especially if it has been wet to cut down reflections and enhance saturation still beneficial to use some polarisation too.  All these filters reduce the exposure time and a tripod is required.   Some of the best shots I took of the aircraft though were handheld like above without filters.  I am not a very patient photographer, some will wait in the same place for hours hoping for the light to change etc.  I like to walk and take photographs immediately.

Doe a Deer

Its about the closest I have come to a wild Deer, a Doe again handheld shots, auto ISO lowest aperture at full focal length hoping to get the sharpest shots possible.

deer sussex border path
wild doe deer 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500, 200mm

I was expecting this Doe to scamper off, every time I stepped closer it not move, like it was just use to humans in this area who did not pose a threat else her foot was caught in some trap.  This walk along the Sussex Border path was more turning into a nature trail.

Dark Woodland

Something I had been experimenting while travelling with my compact especially night shots was under exposing to capture the darkness.  Obviously a camera not know its dark and technically tries to get a medium gray exposure, now for handheld night shots this is an advantage as can use faster shutter speeds.  I thought I would try some under-exposing shots in the woodland and also with some Polarisation to cut out any reflections.

woodland sussex border path
woodland surrey 6.0 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18mm

I love walking in thick woodland, it not always make the best landscape photos but as a recent quote on facebook I read, its impossible to be in a bad mood in the middle of the woods.  From an evolutionary perspective the human eye can discern more shades of green than any other color.


Talking of under-exposure the next shot was unintentionally over exposed but has come out very well, I really like the sharpness and the brown shades of the horses skin.  The scene is predominantly dark as zoomed in on the horse, but I had my exposure compensation on one full stop by mistake.

horse sussex border path
horse sussex border path

The background is blown out, but in this photo it has no importance.  The thing to remember with close up shots of people and animals is to focus on the eyes.

Well that wraps up my walk along the Sussex Border Path and my brief stay on the Surrey border.  For these type of walks they turn more into a nature shoot rather than landscape photography, still take the tripod just in case. Whatever its always just good practice.  Next stop for me is Dorset.

Sussex Border Path