This was the second time I had been afield shooting following my ankle replacement surgery in January. The occasion was a semi-annual solstice celebration at the Hurlers standing stones at Minions. People gather to sing up the sun, do a little dancing and have a huge breakfast at the Cheesewring Hotel.
My preparation consisted of getting my camera kit together the night before. I elected to take my Nikon D-700 with a 20-120mm lens. I have a 20-70mm lens, but I’m not yet cmfrotabe with it. Because I didn’t walk well I knew I’d be taking my stick, which made it difficult to manage a tripod at the same time. Also, because lots of walking was involved, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible so I elected to take a polarizer for any daylight shots. The major part of preparation was hauling out of bed at 3:15 am for the 45 minute drive to Minions. That was rough. My partner and a neighbour accompanied me so there was no danger of falling asleep.The photo below was taken at a from behind the crowd as they gathered on a hillock to watch the sun rise. I had fallen behind the others because I walk slowly. My camera was set to ISO1000, 75mm, f/5.3, s250. I was not using a polarizer at this point and the camera was hand held. In some ways this was the iconic shot of the day while getting it was a matter of simply being in the right place.
This shot of the people dancing was taken at ISO800, 24mm, f/3.5, S250. They are dancing around a standing stone covered with flowers.
These photos required no post production work. They were neither cropped nor tweaked. When we arrived on the site, the sky was barely light. It was lovely to watch the light slowly increase and to change ISO to catch the mood of each period. In all, this was a most satisfying shoot. The spirits were good, people were friendly and some of the photos pleased me very much.