Saturday 6 February 2016


Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind
Bob Dylan

Besides being one of the mildest autumns on record, autumn 2015 was also extremely windy at times.  So, I tried to photograph the wind in Milton Country Park.

Waves on Dickerson's Pit
Dickerson's Pit - 15 November 2015

Of course, however powerfully a wind is felt, it cannot be photographed directly: the moving air is invisible.  Only the effects of the wind can be captured in a photograph, and, perhaps, the most obvious effect is waves on the surface of the water.  The position from where this image was taken at the northern end of Dickerson's Pit has a view along the longest stretch of unbroken water in the park, and, hence, is where the largest waves are to be found with a southerly wind.  No Atlantic breakers here, but the waves up to 30cm high sped across the pit and lapped noisily at the foot of the photographer.

Bridge surrounding by bushes with leaves vibrating in the wind
Dickerson's Pit - 15 November 2015

For the most part, the main visible effect of wind is not in movement across a long distance, but in the vibration of leaves and branches which can only move a much shorter distance.  In the case of branches, this is often because of the surrounding bushes make large movement impossible.  In the case of leaves, a 180 degree flip of the leaf, only involves a movement of about 8cm.  Here, the bushes besides the two bridges between Dickerson's Pit and Deep Water are clearly shaking, in stark contrast to the solid immobility of the bridge.

Maple leaves shaking in the wind
North of Deep Water - 6 December 2015

Closer up, the bushes seem to be shaking themselves to disruption.  It seems that if they shake anymore then they will self destruct. This image reminds me of a dog shaking water off his fur after a swim.  

A quick comment on technique: all the images in this post, except the first picture of waves, were taken using multi-exposures.  I find this gives a more staccato effect then a simple long exposure would.  The photographer, John Blakemore, tells a tale of how, when he started to try and catch the wind, every time he opened the shutter the wind dropped.  He went over to using multi-exposure, opening the shutter for a short time, each time there was a gust of wind.

Reeds blowing in the wind
Todd's Pit - 15 November 2015

And so to a much photographed reed bed at the north end of Todd's Pit, which has been featured in a number of posts on this blog before.  Here, the motion of the reed bed, and shimmering of the leaves of the trees, is nicely contrasted with the stillness of the thick ivied tree trunk and the bullrush heads amongst the reeds.

Bare trees, yellow bushes, brown reeds and blue water all in motion
Dickerson's Pit - 15 November 2015

Finally, here the wind is so strong, everything is moving. 


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