An early morning in Knole Park

My first blog post was a success, with my parents and my sister at least. My wife helpfully, if somewhat demoralisingly, pointed out my numerous spelling & grammar mistakes.

But hey, you've got to start somewhere right? I'm back again with another collection of words, there's some crackers in there.

I pass by Knole Park on my way to work, sometimes I pass by quickly and sometimes slowly, stuck in traffic. Either way is good; I don't like being stuck in traffic but I do like looking into the park and sitting in traffic affords me that opportunity.

One particular stretch of road, which often has traffic, allows a view quite a way into the park along a gentle S bend. This acts like a leading line, visually drawing me into the park, but I'm instead I'm in the car on the way to work. I've passed by this view many times and each time I want to stop and go for a walk in the park.

One morning I found myself getting to work quicker than normal and could see an epic sunrise happening behind me so I decided to find somewhere to park and nipped into Knole Park through the gate at the S bend.

Unfortunately though, by the time I parked and got out the car the sky had changed and the light was nowhere near as amazing. I almost gave up a few steps into the park but decided to walk a little further and see if I could get a couple of good shots. The ground still had the remains of snow and frost from the previous few days so I was hopeful to get something even if the sky was a bit lacking.

Something which I've also started to do, which I've not really done consciously before, is to 'scout' locations. Rather than trying to get a great shot on the first visit to a location and invariably walking away disappointed, I've accepted that you're unlikely to get the best shot first time round and have seen the benefits of seeing a location a few times and in different weather conditions.

I made my way into the park and started looking for compositions but nothing really caught my eye, I was also aware that I was due at work soon! I made a mental note of a few shots and kept walking just a little further to see if there was something better around the corner. If nothing else I'd scouted the location for another time, but I came round a corner and the sunrise poked out from behind the trees and I took a shot, he first of the morning (I've been trying to take fewer but better images after watching many videos from Thomas Heaton).

I could already see something more promising. I swapped lenses from the 18-55 to the super wide 10-24 and picked my way through some dead bracken and got down low. As soon as lined up the shot in the viewfinder I knew being late for work and the cold hands were worth it.

Encouraged by finally getting something good I carried on into the park and found a small herd of deer chilling and eating grass. I hung around hoping to find a good shot and watch their behaviour for a while. It was cool to be the only one around and watch the deer do their thing, which mostly consisted of eating grass but there was an occasional attempt at rutting but I think the deer hadn't had their coffee yet because it lacked commitment.

I think they were just practising

I tried a couple of long exposures before heading back to the car, but a rushed long exposure never really works.

Then as a final treat I had some amazing light for one last shot before I jogged back to the car and continued onto work. I knew I'd got a few got shots out the of the half an hour I was in the park and it was definitely worth making some time to get out before work with the camera.

Seeing this amazing light was worth the walk alone

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