An image from Stiperstones in Shropshire. The Alarm went off at 4:45am, ughh - I managed to get out of bed at 5am! Unfortunately I had been up late the night before planning the route and location, amongst other things, and what with losing the Sat Nav, did not get to bed until after 2am!!! I won't be doing that again in a hurry ....
Anyway on this particular morning I even had time to make myself a very civil flask of hot coffee. Not a normal occurance at this time I can tell you! Following an hours drive in the dark I parked in the National Trust car park in the middle of the Shropshire hills - at the base of the Stiperstones 'summit'.
I unpacked my kit and put on my fleece, fingerless gloves and waterproof. The morning showed a great deal of promise with the low lying mist and broken clouds.
I walked up to the top still in the pre-dawn light. This time of the day the light takes on a strong blue cast. However our eyes correct for this, and so the blue colour temperature of the light can look different to the images you can reproduce in camera with either film or a digital sensor. It is very easy to correct the cast in camera by changing the white balance setting or better still, correct at the RAW file processing stage to get the exact look you require. Many people do this but others, such as Photographer David Noton, tends to keep his White Balance set to "daylight" at all times and therefore retains the wonderful natural colour temperature of the light.
Here I set the white balance in my Nikon D3 to a custom white balance setting of 5260 Kelvin. This gives a cool rendition to the image. I tweaked this in my RAW conversion software to provide a slighty warmer tone but it was a very minor change.
The result is an image that shows the natural blue colour temperature of light at this time of the day.
A simple way to see different colour temperatures is to go outside at dawn or dusk and look at the colour temperature of a light in the house. The outside world will look very blue, in contrast the interior light and room looks very orange. However, once you are in the room your eyes once again adjust to the light and it looks 'normal'. Fantastic bit of kit our eyes!
I think of the images I took at Stiperstones that day, I am most pleased with the composition of this one. Looking at it, sometimes it almost appears that the foreground rock is floating!
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikkor 16-35 f4 VR
Exposure: 2.5 Seconds @ f16, ISO 200
Filters: Lee Neutral Density Grads (0.9 & 0.6)
Stiperstones, Shropshire, England