The weather was pretty indifferent all day, so we headed off up the Valley around lunchtime hoping that it would brighten up for a walk in the afternoon, just prior to turning off for Faccombe I made a pretty swift pull in on the roadside as a field full of blue / purple flowers greeted us. I only had the telephoto with me so I couldn't take a shot, and was a little unsure as to what it was. But I thought to myself I'll pop back one night in the week with the smaller lens and some better weather.
With an outdoor pub lunch scuppered by a pretty heavy rain shower and a hasty retreat indoors we pondered the plan of action for the afternoon, Faccombe Estate covers a large acreage on the North Hampshire / Berkshire border and is a variety of Wooded copses & plantations, large open arable ground and grassy downland. Perfect terrain for Red Kites, throughout the afternoon we saw 9 all within a couple of miles of one another soaring high on the thermals. As we headed higher up the valley 3 Kites were being mobbed continuously by crows who were soon joined at the top of Gallows Down by a pair of Buzzards a Kestrel and numerous Ravens. All too far away for a decent photograph and when straying near enough the sun just happened to appear and make conditions way to bright for photography.
I did however manage a shot that I was really pleased with, as the sky filled up with dark clouds in preparation for another downpour, some wispy white clouds blew through on the stiff breeze, highlighted by the rapidly disappearing sun. Quickly I had to find a foreground subject, thankfully a rather obliging Sheep posed in front of the sky for me.
|Gallows Down Ewe|
With my Grad filters in the bag I thought I'd head back up on to the downs for some sunset shots looking back towards Andover, had a play with the Red filter which worked quite nicely on the Setting sun. Also a HDR effect that I hadn't really tried before but I think works quite nicely.
|Red Filter Sunset|
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