Friday Sunset Hike

We chose to head to Ashdown Forest again on Friday evening – the weather was looking just right for a perfect sunset. Lots of broken cloud forecast, and the sun had been out in between….if we could get those conditions at sunset it would be amazing.

We chose Ashdown Forest – and in particular the Black Hill area, as it commands the best view across the valley towards the North West, which at this time of year, gives the best access to the sunset scene.

When we arrived we were the only car in the car park, so we set off towards the Forest, intending to take a path that runs along the north west side of the trees, giving us the best view of the sun as it set. I fired off a quick shot with the tripod as we started the walk, as there is a feature tree that I like there which I have photographed before to good effect.

Black Hill Tree – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/640 – ISO200

I am always on the look out now for areas to use Lensball – and I spotted a clearing in the trees that had a fallen tree inside. I could see the sun was stretching into the clearing, so I set lensball down on the tree and captured a few shots – this time handheld.

Lensball Log – 18-55mm – F7.1 – 1/200 – ISO100

We continued along the path, and I noticed that the ferns between us and the sunset were being lit by the sun and creating a nice effect, so I stopped again, got out the tripod, and snapped a few shots.

Fern Sunset – 18-55mm – F13 – 1/400 – ISO110

We made our way down to a lower path, which runs parallel to the one we were on. This had the effect of bringing the setting sun down into the tree line, which gave me the opportunity to use another tree as a feature.

Feature Tree – 18-55mm – F7.1 – 1/500 – ISO125

A short distance further along, I found a nice scene where I decided I wanted a Lensball shot. The foliage next to the path meant that putting him near the ground wasn’t an option, so I had to get my partner to hold him up in the perfect position. These shots are particularly hard to shoot handheld, as you have two moving variables to take into account. I managed to keep just enough shutter speed to pull it off and avoid any motion blur.

Lensball Handheld – 18-55mm – F7.1 – 1/100 – ISO100

We took a path shortly after that went back up the valley to join our original path. The weather was changing at this point, and I could see thick cloud coming in that was going to cover the sun. I quickly took the next opportunity to grab another shot with Lensball on a fencepost along the path.

Lensball Fencepost – 18-55mm – F14 – 1/50 – ISO200

As suspected, by the time we re-emerged from the tree line, the sun had been engulfed. We enjoyed the rest of our hike, even seeing a deer as we returned to the car park – the first we had seen for a while.

An enjoyable hike, and really pleased with the photography again.

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