Back to Stubbs Woods

On 19 September, I went to Stubb’s Woods for the first time. I wanted to experience the Kentish countryside and get a feel for the local flora and fauna. I had such a good time, and the park is so perfectly suited to my needs, that I resolved to come back every four weeks with no agenda other than shooting whatever catches my eye. Historically, when I’ve embarked on time lapsed projects, I give up quickly because I forget when to shoot again. Forearmed with a knowledge of my shortcomings, I setup a repeating event on my calendar. It worked, too. Last Saturday was exactly 28 days after I’d gone out the first time. Circumstances meant that I wasn’t able to go and shoot until Monday the 21st, but I’m ok with that. It’s close enough that the spirit of the project is maintained if not the exact letter.

It was a lot muddier this time, with standing water in the mud puddles all over the place. The light was mostly heavily overcast but there were some sun breaks later in the day. Unfortunately, I was too far away from the hillside to take advantage of them properly. I took my Sigma 50mm and my new gorilla pod with me, but I didn’t use the gorilla pod at all. The 50mm is just the wrong lens for doing proper macros; while I did take some documentary shots of interesting seeds (chestnuts maybe?) they’ll never be considered among my best work. The problem wasn’t light as much as wind though. I was at ISO800, F2.0, 1/60th for nearly every shot but I was constantly waiting for the wind to die down. I don’t ever like going over ISO800, it’s just so noisy that I start to lose the tack sharp clarity that I like so much.

Autumn is definitely here, but I was surprised at how much green is left. There are a lot more bare branches, and yellows and oranges are much more prevalent than a month ago, but there is still a lot of green on the deciduous trees. I’m looking forward to the latter part of November, when the trees will be much more barren and letting more light in.

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Now that I’ve been there twice, I’ve identified at least three shots that I intend to get every time. Other than that, though, I’ll just shoot whatever suits me and build up an archive. I’m going to try and resist comparing the “baseline” shots to each other until much later; I think the best lesson for me here is to make the shot as I see fit at the time without any regard for historical precedent.