sollers hope

Woolhope Photo Walk Herefordshire

Around Woolhope

Sunday was going to be another lovely day for early April.  I decided to return to Herefordshire and do the walk around Woolhope which included hills and had some great views, which are great for both walking and photography especially when the sun is shining.

Spring Haze

I was still aching from my photo walk the day before around Arlingham and the river Severn bore in Gloucestershire and had already overdosed on Vitamin D from the sun.  But I cant stay housebound when the sun is shining outside not in spring time, but today was going to be like a summers day with temperatures hitting the mid twenties which usually means the dreaded haze.

After post processing all the photos I had taken the day before around Arlingham I had decided not to use my 24mm prime lens anymore for landscape photography.  I decided it does not compete with my canon 18-200mm in terms of flexibility and quality.  Plus that little 24mm pancake lens just dont look so macho in the field.  I guess you get what you pay for.

Canon EF-S 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6
Canon EF-S 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6

In the future I may rent lens before purchasing them, a good lens will set you back about £40 for the weekend and got the hassle of delivery and returns but alot cheaper if the lens not make the grade.

Little Malvern Priory

On the road out of Pershore towards Woolhope in Herefordshire took the A4104 through the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire.  Just like the morning I took that drive to Symonds Yat in Herefordshire a sight approaching the Malvern hills forced me to stop the car and start taking some photos.

little malvern priory
little malvern priory

Little Malvern Priory was gleaming in the morning sunshine just at the foot of the Malvern Hills with tracks through a rapeseed field providing some leading lines.

From Much Marcle

Found the car park at Much Marcle, setup my camera for handheld shots and proceeded to follow the guide Woolhope and Sollers Hope in the AA’s 50 walks around Herefordshire.  It really does pay to load the walk up on your mobile and tablet using the routes feature on the Ordnance Survey online maps, just to check you stay on track using your GPS.

os maps woolhope
os maps woolhope

Every time I come to Herefordshire I am always impressed, its hilly always peaceful and the least populated county in England.  The first photos were of some sheep grazing heading down to Hyde Farm.

Sleeves Oak Woolhope
Sheep grazing woolhope 1/10 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 24mm

It was a little hazy but using a polariser helps cut down the reflections.  No need for a graduated filter for the sky and using exposure compensation pushed it as far to the right without clipping to get the color tones.

Approaching Woolhope

It really was like a hot summers day approaching Woolhope, could have really appreciated a pint in the Crown Inn but arrived to early with the pubs mostly opening around midday.

woolhope village
woolhope herefordshire 1/20 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 28mm

I felt my technique is improving, I am checking the histogram first to see if there is any high contrast before reaching for a graduated ND filter.  With the haze and sunshine a polariser was necessary.

siege wood woolhope
siege wood woolhope 1/8 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 20mm

Approaching Sollers Hope

Keeping to the route, I detoured slightly and climbed a steep hill beside long wood and round wood, as a photographer you are always looking for a new angle requiring the expenditure of extra energy.

lower buckenhill woolhope
lower buckenhill woolhope 1/15 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 24mm

Through the village of Sollers Hope and pass the church pass some farm buildings and a lovely hilly meadow with dandelions and trees on the hill.

sollers hope
sollers hope woolhope 1/13 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 18mm

It was then up a steepish hill approaching the last leg of the photo walk and some great views open up to the west across Sollers hope and Herefordshire.

sollers hope
sollers hope herefordshire 1/6 sec, f/11, ISO 200, 20mm

A polariser really cut through the visible haze in this photo, to control the contrast used a 2 stop soft edged ND graduated filter on the sky, looking at the almost straight horizon though should have used a hard edge filter. Had to crop this photo slightly in Lightroom to remove some annoying branches which subtracted from the overall image.

Out in the Midday Sun

I was pleased with some of these photos around Woolhope and Sollers Hope in Herefordshire.  I not overuse filters and think the photos are very sharp for conditions – out in the midday sun and haze most landscape photographers avoid.  Yes would be nice to come back for a sunset for the last scenic photo above over Sollers Hope on a day with excellent visibility.  The sun should set nicely on that horizon to the west.  The thing is every day is unique and when you are practising to improve your technique then conditions are not too important.  I love Herefordshire and want to explore more of it before I depart this part of England.

I was parched again, emptied my water bottle and enjoyed a well deserved pint of Wye Valley Ale in the nearby pub the Butchers arms.

Woolhope Herefordshire