I live within 10 mins of Attenborough Nature Reserve, so on new years day my girlfriend and I took a nice wander down to get a bit of fresh air.
Naturally, I had to take a camera, and my 7D MK2 was ready packed with a 50 mm prime, so I was able to grab it and go. I love the nature reserve, and because we were only there for a nice walk I felt like I wasn’t under any pressure to focus on wildlife photography (this is a pressure I usually put on myself when I’m there). The river (the Trent) was running high after a lot of rain, and the boiling, rolling surface looked like molten silver in the morning light. I tried a few different angles, and this was what I thought was the best. I love the abstract patterns that water can form, and with the river running so high, any disturbance to the current resulted in massive distortions on the surface
Around the lakes that make up the reserve are a number of different observation platforms, which I usually lie down on the try and get eye level portraits of the water birds, but today the water was so high that the platform was totally under water. The whole scene looked quite stunning, so I worked to compose something pleasing. I’m quite happy with the result. Believe it or not, but this is a full colour image
I had thought about editing out the duck, but actually I think it works well to balance the image because of the small post just the other side of the rail.
To get home we left the reserve and walked through the small village of Attenborough, where a lovely horse was stood watching people go by. I wish I had brought an apple or something, he was very friendly.
I love the portrait I got of him, was the stunning golden light on his main, and that one big brown eye staring at me. There were two reasons for this composition, firstly I love the tension caused by not including the other eye! You are forced to look at the eye in the centre of the image, which makes you see the detail in his mane, and that light, but all the while your brain is trying to make you look for his other eye. On a very practical note, the other side of his face was in deep shadow. Next time I walk this route I’ll be sure to carry a small apple or a carrot, just in case I see him again
So a fruitful walk in my favourite reserve, with my favourite person and my favourite lens. If you don’t have a 50 mm prime, I can’t recommend one enough, they are cheap, very fast, and bitingly sharp.