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Feature Post

The Lost Mansion part 2, Baron Hill, Anglesey

By | Feature Post, Landscape Photography

Baron Hill from the air. Image from DJI Spark drone.

About half a mile west of Beaumaris stands the overgrown and spectacular ruins of one of Anglesey’s most stately of homes, Baron Hill.

 

Once you arrive at the big tree your adventure begins at Baron Hill.

A short walk through a wooded area along well used boggy paths reveals exotic gardens, palms, massive pines and twisted knuckled bark all overgrown and offering surprising viewings.

 

After the tree bearing left you should arrive at the Folley. It once had a huge fountain in front of it. Climb through it to continue your adventure. Go left to the Gate house or right to the house.

 

 

Part of the Gate house. Unfortunately due to the over growth its hard to capture a whole image of the gatehouse.

 

 

 

Gatehouse window.

 

Inside the derelict Gatehouse

Although huge in its entirety, there are no obvious photographic views to images of the whole of the outside due to the mass of brambles and other vegetation. Roofless and in a dire state to enter even though we did spend long periods of time inside, Baron Hill, although violently tumbling and emphatically reclaimed, is a beautiful and calming experience. Sun light flickered fleetingly through the heavily canvassed tree tops and large sections of fallen dressed stone stood, as monuments, alongside the ruin.

Part of the front.

It was built in 1612, both reduced then enlarged into a very grand house, it was finally damaged by fire during the Second World War and thereafter remained vacant. Sixty years of rain and wind, frost and snow, has taken its toll, as expected, upon its walls. Sixty years: a generation of trees, once small saplings, have grown as high as its walls have crumbled.

 

 

The guard room door. During the Second World War troops where stationed here.

The large blocks of dressed stone are soft and weathered, thin layers worn off over the years. The vegetation completes its yearly cycle and slowly eats away at mortar and takes hold of any gaps in the stonework, all contributing to the demise of house and character
There are many outbuildings, all ruined: stables with enormous large wooden doors, all rotting and overrun with brambles. Sneaking views around the grounds show the foundations of greenhouses and other outbuildings, the stone work covered in moss, the beams, windows and door frames damp and rotten, inevitable as time, eating and furthering the decay and finality of collapse.

 

 

The stairs leading from the laundry rooms to the kitchens.

 

Once a thriving kitchen for the whole house, nowadays nature is taking it back.

All Images shot on a

Fuji GSW690

Ilford Delta 100 Black and White Film.

@Induro Tripod and Cable release

Scafell Pike Dawn

By | Feature Post, Landscape Photography

I decided to set of on Saturday night in the camper to save the two hour drive in the morning giving me more sleep time for the big climb in the dark, on reaching Wasdale valley it was very foggy and drizzling heavy and was hoping that the forecast would come good for dawn like they said. The alarm went of at 3.50am and with tired eyes got ready for my friend Mick Pearce who was going to guide me up there for the first time in the dark. I had been up before but 30 years ago and couldn’t remember it, Mick had offered so i took him up on his offer. The route is fairly straight forward and could confidently do it again on my own. We set of at 4.30am under a star filled sky, as we gained height we could see mist in the valleys and it was looking promising for a great dawn, hardly a breath of wind and incredibly warm for February. We arrived at the empty summit at 6.15am an hour before sunrise, i enjoyed a brew first then started to work out my compositions for the sunrise, shooting film and only getting 4 images per roll I need to know exactly what I’m taking and knew that the first 45 mins could be pretty frantic as i try and shoot several compositions before the light gets to harsh. I really only shoot the first 45 minutes at sunrise when its at its optimum. So it was important to know what shots i was going to take.

The first shot I took was as the sun just started to appear over the horizon directly above Bowfell , the valleys full of winter mists.

After the sun rose it started to light up the tops of the mountains slowly splashing gorgeous light across the whole scene, I then switched positions to the shot that I went for looking directly across at Great Gable, shooting on the 180mm lens this pretty much gives you what you’re eyes see. The light was fantastic.

I then shot it with Great Gable to the left so I could get Blencathra in the top right corner.

These shots only work for me when the sun’s only hitting the upper parts of the mountain’s, after that I tend to either find something else to photograph or call it a day and just sit with a brew and take it all in. It was well worth the early climb and I’ll be back here soon hopefully dramatic conditions for something different.

This is the last image I took before making the decent back to the camper.  I’m low down behind the the summit to avoid the sun in the lens. I’m looking south east over Wetherlam and to a sea of mist.

 

 

All images taken on

Fuji GX617

180mm lens

2 seconds, 1 seconds and 1/4 of a second at f22

Kodak Ektar 100 film

Induro tripod and cable release.

St Mary’s Blue’s

By | Feature Post, Landscape Photography

St Mary’s Blues… at dawn

St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay , Northumberland

This is a fantastic time to be out in these conditions and i was fortunate to read the forecast  correctly before i headed over the Northumberland to capture this image.

Taken in the Blue hour, this is a period of twilight in the morning and in the evening, during the civil and nautical twilight phases, when the sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and when the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade. On a clear day, blue hour can be a colorful spectacle, with the indirect sunlight tinting the sky yellow, orange, red, and blue. This effect is caused by the relative diffusibility of short blue wavelengths of light versus the longer red wavelengths. During the blue “hour” (typically a period about 20 minutes in length), red light passes straight into space, while blue light is scattered in the atmosphere, so reaches Earth’s surface. Many photographer’s and artists a like treasure this period because of the quality of the light. Although the blue hour does not have an official definition, the blue color spectrum is most prominent when the sun is between 4 and 8° below the horizon.

 

Fuji GX617
105mm Fujinon Lens
1 Minute at F45
1.2 NiSi nd Grad filter
Kodak Ektar 100 film
Induro Tripods UK and cable release

The Lost Mansion, Baron Hill, Anglesey

By | Feature Post, Landscape Photography

About half a mile west of Beaumaris stands the overgrown and spectacular ruins of one of Anglesey’s most stately of homes, Baron Hill.

Once you bump into this 10 feet wide tree you really have arrived at the ruins.

A short walk through a wooded area along well-trodden paths reveals exotic gardens, palms, massive pines and twisted knuckled bark all overgrown and offering surprising viewings.

Although huge in its entirety, no obvious photographic views presented themselves or were easily found due to the mass of brambles and other vegetation. Roofless and too ruinous to enter even though we did spend long periods of time inside, Baron Hill, although violently tumbling and emphatically reclaimed, is a beautiful and calming experience. Sun light flickered fleetingly through the heavily canvassed tree tops and large sections of fallen dressed stone stood, as monuments, alongside the ruin.

It was built in 1612, both reduced then enlarged into a very grand house, it was finally damaged by fire during the Second World War and thereafter remained vacant. Sixty years of rain and wind, frost and snow, has taken its toll, as expected, upon its walls. Sixty years: a generation of trees, once small saplings, have grown as high as its walls have crumbled.

 

 

The large blocks of dressed stone are soft and weathered, thin layers worn off over the years. The vegetation completes its yearly cycle and slowly eats away at mortar and takes hold of any gaps in the stonework, all contributing to the demise of house and character
There are many outbuildings, all ruined: stables with enormous large wooden doors, all rotting and overrun with brambles. Sneaking views around the grounds show the foundations of greenhouses and other outbuildings, the stone work covered in moss, the beams, windows and door frames damp and rotten,

inevitable as time, eating and furthering the decay and finality of collapse.

All Images shot on a

Fuji GSW690

Ilford Pan f50 Black and White Film.

@Induro Tripod and Cable release

It’s all about timing..

By | Feature Post, Landscape Photography | No Comments

Lancaster and the river Lune at Dusk

 

I have been waiting a while to capture this image.  Yes, I could take it any evening or dawn (best at dusk really, as the sunset is behind you which gives the foreground light) but I had pre-visualized the scene with the reflections of the buildings in the River Lune, so I needed a high tide, roughly an hour after sunset. The optimum time for these night shots is usually around 35 minutes after sunset, so that the sky balances with the artificial lights of the city.  For the image I wanted it was vital that the high tide was an hour after sunset. For those who aren’t local, the river along the quay side is tidal and around half an hour before, and up to high tide, the river goes really still with almost mill-pond conditions, which provides great reflections as the flowing river meets the incoming tide. So, with a bit of planning and timing I could be there at the optimum time for both tide and the sky to balance with the artificial lights.

 

Fuji GX617
105mm Fujinon lens
2 1/2 minutes at F22
Kodak Ektar 100 film.
Induro Tripods UK and cable release.

 

Lancaster Photographic Society Talk

By | Feature Post, Landscape Photography | No Comments

This week I had the pleasure of being invited back for the 3rd time to Lancaster Photographic Society…this time to talk about my transition back to film Photography, using the bench mark Fuji GX617 medium format Panoramic camera. I talked the membership through my working practices; showing them how to use the camera from focusing and bracketing, to a tutorial on how to obtain perfect exposure using my Sekonic light meter in spot metering mode. My talk also included over 200 Panoramic images and several videos while on location.  As it was looking like I was going to do a Ken Dodd, and be on until midnight,  I had to cut short a few videos!  All in all, it was a great night and I really enjoyed sharing my passion on obtaining the perfect image (and thanks to Mike Atkinson for capturing me in action!).  I was really pleased to receive the following review on the society website:

 

On Monday evening a large, attendant audience was entertained and educated by the local, landscape photographer, Lee Metcalfe. Lee sets very high, personal standards for the passionate way in which he searches out and records promising viewpoints, chases early morning and evening light, waits patiently for that light to cast a magic spell over the landscape and finally, records the event on film, in a large format, panoramic camera.

His professionalism, tenacity and unwillingness to settle for second best was reflected both in his highly informative presentation, which was thoughtfully constructed, the many high quality images on show and the insights into both his camera craft and his photographic forays into wild places and wilder weather.

Our society is fortunate that there is a rich pool of talented, professional photographers in Lancaster willing to direct time, energy and experience to presentations that enthuse and improve the knowledge and craft of our society members. So thank you Lee.

Reg Haslam

Program Secretary

 

 

 

 

Pont Alexandre III, Hotel des Invalides and the River Seine at night, Paris, France

By | City Photography, Feature Post, Landscape Photography | No Comments

I’m standing next to the tripod in the cold winter air, waiting for the lights to come and desperately trying to keep warm.  It seems like an eternity waiting for the precise moment to take a meter reading and fire the shutter. There is a small window in which to create these night shots; leave it to late and the sky goes inky black and doesn’t balance right with the artificial lights. Finally it’s here and I take two meter readings with the spot meter; one of the Hotel dome in the distance, and one of the light in the top right corner.  I average that out… then add a stop for good measure…and the shots are in the bag! I take three more exposures (as experience dictates as it slowly gets darker) before we head of to the warmth of a restaurant for pizza and red wine…Paris really is beautiful at night!

Fuji GX617
180mm Fujinon lens
30 seconds at F22
Kodak Ektar 100 film.
Induro Tripods UK and cable release.