Back in November, I had a chance to drive up to Simonside and had a fantastic day’s photography, capturing one of my favourite images of 2019 in the process.
The colours in the woodland at Simonside were unreal at the time and I really wish I’d been able to go immediately back again for a couple more days’ exploring. Such are the limits of photography-as-hobby. I still had a thoroughly enjoyable walk and made some images I’m pretty happy with, mostly hand-held.
The image that made my top 4 for the year was taken right at the start of my walk into this woodland, with the Leica Summicron-R 50mm F2 lens on the Fujifilm GFX 50S. With the low light in the forest, I stuck to the faster adapted Leica lenses for walk-around shooting rather than the slower GF glass.
By the time I reached this scene, only a few hundred yards further along the path, I’d switched to the Summicron-R 90mm F2. Both of the Summicrons work very nicely on the Fuji GFX bodies and with the longer focal length and wide aperture, I could get some nice extra depth to the image as well as lovely out-of-focus details in the foreground from all the colourful leaves.
Shooting hand-held, I took a few frames of this same basic composition. I was actually still so close to the edge of the forest that my parked car was showing up in the background and so I had to reframe carefully and line the trees up so that it didn’t show in the image.
I had never been to Simonside before this visit, and I wasn’t even really aiming for it. It was my backup location after time and inaccurate sat-nav directions conspired against my original plan of heading further in, to scout Harwood Forest.
I’m very happy with the woodland I did find, even if I wish I had had more time there.
But then, it’s another location scouted and logged to return to this autumn, assuming it’s safe to leave our houses by then!