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My Golden Dene

Snow-covered golden Dene

It’s taken a long time for the snow to leave the floor of Breamish Valley. We’ve had icy conditions since 3 January this year and snow on the Cheviots pretty much from the beginning of the New Year too. But, with the slight rise in temperature over the last couple of days, the snow has now more or less melted from the valley floor. However, some snow is still clinging to the backdrop of the Cheviot Hills.

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Catch the Sun

Catch the sun in winter

As is commonly understood, the sun is low in the sky for us here in the northern hemisphere during the winter months. We have shorter days and a ‘weak’ sun that never gets high above our heads. This creates long shadows and, depending on the atmospheric conditions, anything from a mellow golden light towards the evenings and blue hues throughout the day. Add snow to the mix and, as the sunlight reflects off the snow, this creates other interesting visual effects.

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Chocolate Shadows

Chocolate shadows?

What colour are shadows, actually?

When I was a kid, and the only cameras available used actual film – no such thing as digital cameras then, oh no – you had to shoot in bright light. Well, not strictly true – but if you didn’t have the means to buy an expensive camera and an expensive film that could be used in low light, well, you simply had to shoot in bright light. That’s why so many of us have old black and white photos in our family collections that appear to be over-exposed, burned out or with far too much contrast between the blacks and the whites. Too much contrast and you loose the detail: those subtle textures and structures that lurk in the shadows.

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