December Solstice Shoot Dec 22, 2011

I join two other artists for excursions to the stone circles at Minions on Bodmin Moor. One is a painter, the other a poet and I take the photos. We always shoot on the equinox and at each solstice so on a very cold morning in December we met up at 6:00 am for the 45 minute drive to Minions.

Part of my preparation for this trip was to suit up with long underwear and extra socks. Also, my photography mittens, which allow me to fold the tops back and use them as fingerless gloves.l Then there is my little headlight, which has a button allowing me to switch to infra-red. Add my thermos of hot tea and we are ready for the day.

At Minions we stumbled out in the dark for the walk to the second stone circle. Fortunately, it was not raining, although there was a heavy fog. Kat, the painter, set herself up while Helen, the poet, tucked in by a standing stone. I set up my tripod, hooked my my cable release and searched the dark for something to focus on.

I took several shots of Helen working before I got this one. First, I was too far away, then there was some blurr, but this one worked. I shot at f/5, 1/60, ISO 200 with an 18-105 lens. Post production I cropped slightly to focus on Helen’s face.

The second shot was way too dark. I lightened in in Elements and discovered Helen among the stones.

This shot points toward the village of Upton Cross and includes the tower on Carandon Hill. I took a lot of shots of this tower because it was about the only thing around that I could actually see. The fog drew itself around the lights of the tower giving it an otherworldly appearance.

 In the name of honesty, I should say there was no sunrise that day. Things just got lighter; however, just as we were packing up to leave 25 or so people marched out from Minions to sing up the sun. They do this every year. They invited us to join in, but we were off to a cooked breakfast prepared by Helen’s husband.


About idaswears

I left the U.S. for Cornwall 4 years ago. Since then I have spent my time writing, walking and studying the English. It's not always easy being a Yank in Cornwall, but it's always fun and rewarding.
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