Life seems to be whooshing by at an ever-increasing pace and it seems incredible that a week has passed since my last walk.
So, on Monday this week, I set off to Essex once again, this time to walk from Hatfield Peverel to Chelmsford, along the banks of the Chelmer. The weather forecast was good – dry, mostly sunny, with 2/8 cloud cover and a reasonable temperature (not too hot, not too cold). I was anxious to put the disappointment of the last walk behind me and take on board the lessons I’d learned from the previous week.
Aside from documenting the route of today’s walk (for a project I’m working on) I wanted simply to practice, calmly and thoughtfully, the art of using the M9 – I had no particular brief in mind for the kind of images I wanted to get. The weather was perfect, just the right amount of variation in light to try different exposure methodologies and a flat, easy walk that allowed me to concentrate on photo technicalities, rather than worry about navigation.
This part of Essex is very close to Suffolk and it’s not far from here area that John Constable painted many of his more important landscapes. Landscapes in which the sky played a crucial role and the weather on my walk served up glorious skies in abundance. The bright sun, bright clouds and deep blue skies were a great test of the Leica’s lens and sensor and they didn’t disappoint. Scenes, that in most of the other cameras I’ve used, would have been riddled with lens flare and irrecoverable shadows, were handled well by the M9. It didn’t help that I walked from east to west in the afternoon, which meant for most fo the journey I was walking into the sun, nevertheless, I was able to take photos of the route of the journey with relative ease. None of the images are particularly exceptional photographs, that wasn’t the purpose of today’s walk, but I certainly feel inspired enough to come back to this area, in similar meteorological circumstances, to try more serious landscape photography.
And I’ll walk from west to east next time, not just to avoid shooting into the sun, but to get the walk from Chelmsford ouf of the way quickly. An hour close by the A12 is not a peaceful way to end a country walk.
This walk was based on the Hatfield Peverel to Chelmsford walk from Essex Pub Walks, my actual route can be found here (ignore the last bit, I forgot turn the D-Tour off when I got on the train) and the gallery can be viewed here. BTW – I’ve not done much to these images, mostly straightening them up, the contrast and exposure is pretty much as they came out of the camera.