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Behind the Image: Symonds Yat

While I was down at the Forest of Dean for the Mini Downhill Series, I decided to visit Symonds Yat Rock.

It's a place that I have visited previously and knew that if the conditions were right, would make for an amazing panorama of the bend in the river Wye.

The weather was promising on the drive down, with clear skies and misty patches. Finding a quiet spot in the Forest of Dean I got settled down for the night.

The next morning, I had a short drive to Symonds Yat Rock, parked up, grabbed the tripod and made the short walk along the wooden walkway to the viewpoint.



Having water damaged my Huawei phone on a trip up Cadair Idris a few months previous, I replaced it with a cheap alternative from Amazon. UMIDIGI are a brand I have never heard of before, but with a good specification at a very reasonable price, I snapped one up.

On first impressions, the camera is okay, has the ability to shoot RAW and run Lightroom mobile. I may do an in depth review on a future blog at some point. I used this for some snapshots for an Instagram story.

Arriving at the viewpoint, the river some 200m below wasn't visible due to the low hanging mist in the valley. Birds were calling out of the clouds, adding to the majesty and tranquillity of the place as I stood there alone, taking in the vista.

I set the camera and tripod up, and waited around hoping the mist would clear and the sun would poke through the clouds, illuminating everything in its path. Using just a small travel tripod, I realised it wasn't high enough for the shot that I wanted, and even with my widest lens on, the Tokina 16-28mm, wasn't wide enough to get in all the valley as well as the curve in the river.

Taking the camera off the tripod, I upped the ISO slightly to get a faster shutter speed and hand-held a panorama at 28mm.

The cliffs that are notorious as a peregrine nesting hot spot, weren't visible due to the mist and cloud.

As the sun started to rise, the mist started to dissipate, but unfortunately so did the colour in the sky. I set the lens at 16mm, to accommodate more foreground and took another panorama, consisting of 10 vertical shots.

I'm not overly happy with the shot, but it was a great experience, and an excuse to visit earlier in autumn for more colour in the trees, and this time I'll bring a bigger tripod.

Let me know what you think and which image you prefer in the comments below, or over on Instagram,

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