Telegraph Hill, September 2012
To the east of Winchester there is some wonderful high ground known as Cheesefoot Head. It is not grand or that high, but just has a nice feeling of space and long large views of the surrounding countryside. On the road out there your attention is caught to the north by the impressive Matterley Bowl, a huge natural amphitheatre where Eisenhower addressed the troops prior to D-Day. You would probably miss a small wood to the south. The map says that this sits on Telegraph Hill, but few people know this place by name, as the hill is not on a footpath and given over to the plough apart from the thicket of trees at the summit.
I often return here to take pictures, particularly when the light is good and the sky is ribboned with cirrus clouds. A couple of weeks ago the weather was just this, so I rushed off as soon as I had got back from work. This time the fields were striped yellow and brown from the brushing of the combine harvester that had recently taken in the wheat and I wanted to make a feature of this in my picture. There were some lovely high clouds above which I knew would work well too in a still movie type joiner. I photographed the field every time I cross the boundary of an ‘up’ and ‘down’ sweep to emphasise the lines left in the field, holing the camera higher and a at a steeper angle for the two closer foreground rows. This has the effect of creating a superwide but natural perspective for the final composition. All the cells were shot using the 45/f1.8 Olympus lens.
The original picture was imagined and shot as a 9×7 rectangle with some spares. When it came to the edit the composition worked better when reduced and reordered to a square. All the compositing and tonal adjustments were done in Lightroom, which I now use in preference to Photoshop for creating regular grid joiners.