Black & White,  Composition,  Landscape

Landscapes are better in bad weather

Living, as I now do, in Worcester, the Malverns Hills are now a local place to visit.  Although they are called hills, some of the peaks are high enough to be classified as mountains.  Once such is Herefordshire Beacon at 1109 feet above sea level.  It’s the site of British Camp, a huge Iron Age earthwork complex.  The earthworks give a curious silhouette to the hill, and it looks very man-made.

The views from the Malvern Hills are wonderful.  Elizabethan diarist John Evelyn called it “one of the godliest vistas in England”.  There are three cathedrals visible on a good day, but it doesn’t always have be a good day.

On a recent trip there were showers amongst the sunshine and clouds.  By a stroke of luck they all missed me, but they made for fabulous skies and lighting effects.  This shower is about to land on British Camp.  I underexposed a couple of stops to make the sky darker, and to get solid blacks on the hill.

When the shower had cleared away the people on top of the hill reappeared from wherever they had been sheltering, and their silhouettes added an extra dimension to the dark hill and variegated sky.  Once again I underexposed to give more drama in the sky.

Turning to look the other way, there was another shower raining happily in the Pershore area.  The line of the clouds is like an arrow, and the cloud shadow in the foreground helps take the eye to the pouring rain. There’s a sort of reflected symmetry in the shapes at top right and bottom left.  I converted the image to black and white to take away the blue sky.

I’m glad the weather was so variable, and I look forward to many more trips up there.