Fog in Knowle, Solihull

When the weather forecaster says there will be fog in the morning then I listen carefully. Fog and mist always add atmosphere to a picture. However, the big decision is where to go to get those great pictures in the fog. Several places sprung to mind but I went for the simplest which is to stay near home. The area you know well is always the best. There is a golf course near me, Copt Health, which provides spectacular sunrises as the rising sun creates patterns amongst the trees. The fog dimmed the sun and in turn provided some great atmospheric picture opportunities. I have featured my top five pictures which are all edited in black and white.

All the pictures were taken with the Fujifilm x100v and the pictures were edited with Silver Efex.

Foggy Sunrise in Knowle, Solihull
A tree captures the sunrise in the fog
Foggy Sunrise in Knowle, Solihull.
This group of trees can just be made out
Foggy Sunrise in Knowle, Solihull.
The rising sun between the trees.
Foggy Sunrise in Knowle, Solihull.
A temporary pool created by the recent rainfall reflects the sunrise.
Ice Cream barge Stratford upon Avon

As an avid Weather Watcher I am always checking the forecast. When the BBC weather presenter mentioned that it would be a foggy start to the day then I decided to be up early the next day. My destination was Stratford upon Avon.  The town is relatively quiet out of season and there are always good photographic opportunities. I arrived not long after sunrise with some remnants of mist over the river Avon.  The thermometer was struggling to get above zero. It was very cold and the canal basin was frozen in many parts. 

Early light at Stratford upon Avon
The sun shines over the canal basin
Seagulls on the Boat Hire Hut, River Avon, Stratford upon Avon.
Seagulls on the Boat Hire Hut, River Avon, Stratford upon Avon.

My walk took me over the footbridge past the tourist boat hut where boats can be hired in season. Seagulls were clustered together sitting on the wooden roof for warmth. The sun was playing on the water and shining on the hardy souls who were out training on their rowing boats. The bank opposite to the town was quiet except for geese and swans eating grass. There were soon disturbed by a dog off a lead. All the birds made a quick dash for the river making a log of noise in the process.

Foot bridge over the River Avon, Stratford upon Avon.
Dog walkers strolling into the mist.
A view from the footbridge, Stratford upon Avon
A view from the footbridge, Stratford upon Avon
Bandstand, Stratford upon Avon.
The bandstand in the park next to the river bank with low sunlight.

Walking along the riverbank, the world was very peaceful and I then headed back over the river into town.

River walk, Stratford upon Avon.
River walk, Stratford upon Avon.
Bridges over the River Avon, Stratford upon Avon.
Road bridge to the left, footbridge to the right, here I am!

On my way back, I passed by John Hall’s house who was a physician and married Susannah daughter of William Shakespeare. Regrettably, all except Shakespeare’s birthplace are shut due to Covid19. However I enjoyed the sun and shadows on the front of the house. This will be beautiful in the spring when the magnolia flowers.

John Nash's House, Stratford upon Avon
John Nash’s House, Stratford upon Avon.

There were several other places I visited and I have only selected my favourite pictures. All the pictures so far were taken with my Canon 5D mk IV with the 24-105mm lens. However, I did have my iPhone with me and I could not resist taking a picture of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and posting it up on the Weather Watchers page. Luckily the picture was selected by Shefali for the BBC Midlands news weather forecast. A satisfying conclusion to a rewarding photographic walk.

BBC Weather Watchers, Stratford upon Avon
BBC Weather Watchers, Midlands Today, Stratford upon Avon

If you enjoyed this page then please take a look at my other photographic journeys in Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford Greenway – if you are looking for something a little different from your visit to the town.
Mist in the Park – pictures from Charlecote Park near to Stratford upon Avon

Visiting Stratford is always fun and you can find out more from the official website.

Tysoe Windmill sunrise

I am always on the lookout for different places to visit in my locality. Reviewing local tags on Instagram pages highlights the beauty of the surrounding area and reveals a range of places to visit.  Recently, I was given the opportunity of selecting a picture for the #igerscoventry #igerswarwickshire Instagram site.  A black and white picture of Tysoe Windmill in South Warwickshire caught my eye.  This was a place that I had not heard of before and the picture got my vote. Immediately I set about researching the windmill and looking at pictures that other photographers had taken.  It looked interesting, and I planned a morning sunrise whilst we were enjoying good September weather. 

Tysoe Windmill sunrise
A foggy start

Getting up early is not so difficult in September but there was the problem with the national fuel shortage. Luckily the 24-hour garage near to us had petrol and I was able to set off.  The conditions were initially clear and then when I left the M40 it became very foggy as I travelled through Kineton village.  I was excited as the conditions were shaping up to be excellent for the sunrise.  I passed through the villages of Tysoe and then saw familiar landmarks from my Google maps research.  I found the country lane and parked up the car.  The fog was swirling around with the sun occasionally showing through.  The Windmill is situated on a high hill.  My approach on the public footpath took me up some wooden steps, many of which were broken.  I did not see the windmill until I was almost at the top.  The fog was still around and a picture of spiders’ webs on the gate with the windmill in the background set the scene.  The picture also did well on my social media.  Looking back down the hill, the fog was lying in pockets on the landscape.  There was that lovely saturation of the sky that happens before the Sun is in the sky.  Sunrise was nearly upon me.  I followed the footpath around the south side of the hill before entering via a gate onto the hilltop with the Windmill.

Tysoe Windmill sunrise
Spiders’ webs at the entrance to the Windmill
Tysoe Windmill sunrise
Looking at the early morning landscape prior to sunrise

The restored windmill has a commanding presence.  The structure has weathered brickwork and is rather tubby looking around the middle.  It has a wooden box where the Windmill mechanism protrudes away from the sales.  I have done a deconstructed view of the windmill showing all my various observations.

Different views of the Tysoe Windmill

Back to the sunrise.  It was lovely to see and whilst there were no clouds in the sky to provide any colour variations, the light was still beautiful.  I took plenty of pictures which included the long shadows of the trees, spiders’ webs highlighted by the morning moisture and landscapes showing the last remnants of the foggy conditions.  There was no one else around bar the cattle in the fields and the crows flying around.  Then the sun became much stronger, and the conditions slowly changed.  Reluctantly I made my way down the hill and back to the car.  There were still a couple more pictures to take before I was back on the road home.  Next time I will visit in the evening and see how the sunset shapes up but until then I hope you enjoy these pictures.

Tysoe Windmill sunrise
Sunrise at Tysoe Windmill
Tysoe Windmill sunrise
Landscape view from the hill
Tysoe Windmill sunrise
Tysoe Windmill and its sails

Fog Knowle Park

Waking up on a Friday morning, I was excited to find that it was foggy. I was keen to get down to the park and take some atmospheric pictures of the conditions. There were not too many people around but I was still able to get some nice pictures with my Fujifilm x100v. I processed the pictures with Silver Efex pro3. My favourite ones range from the neutral filter to using high or low key processes. Some of the combinations such as push processing and using a harsh or soft finish all work well. My trouble is that I see a good picture in all of them. There was the addition of a vignette and then an unsharp mask on the pictures. Take a view and I am looking forward to some more foggy starts!

Fog in Knowle Park
A lone figure framed by branches
Fog in Knowle Park
The Fog rolls in over the Park
Fog in Knowle Park
A lone dog walker keeps to the path
Fog in the village
Knowle village with a foggy start

Black and white reflections in the river

The foggy weather and the cold have led to some excellent conditions for atmospheric shooting. I have been taking out my cameras to get the best range my compact and big camera. I just don’t want to miss the perfect shot but then again I have the confidence in my picture taking that I will come away with a picture that suits the camera.

Reflections on the River Blythe
Bridge over the M42
Bridge over the M42
A man walks past a tree in the fog
A man walks past a tree in the fog

This walk took me along the river Blythe into Brueton park and along the way the bare trees cast wonderful reflections in the river. I also saw lone trees and traffic streaming along the M42. The sun came and went and most of the colours were drained from the day. So it leant itself to black and white photography. I went for some low and high key processing of the pictures.

Low key processing of the foggy scene
Low key processing of the foggy scene

PhotoTip – black and white photography can certainly bring out the contrasts and character of the subject. On a foggy day, the colours are drained and therefore black and white becomes an obvious choice. Some of these pictures may have stayed as colour and these are shown side by side to give an example of what they may have looked like.

Comparison of pictures #1
Comparison of pictures #2

If you like Black and White Photography then I have done some other blog posts that you may like.
Black and White – featuring pictures of Birmingham
Black and White at the Mill – featuring pictures of Chesterton Windmill