Mmm … Malvern. Nice and hilly, tranquil, good places to stay, and close to friends – the perfect place to escape to for a short break.
Kristi and I went up to Malvern for a week’s holiday this Easter. We didn’t have the best of the weather, but that was fine – we were both too knackered and too stressed to do anything much other than laze around. But we did get lucky with the light on a couple of days 🙂
If you want to follow in our footsteps and holiday in Malvern, and you’re looking for a holiday cottage, I can’t recommend Rickyard Cottage enough. We’ve been there a couple of times now, and each time it’s been a fantastic base for us. We’ll be going back there again in the future.
Thoughts On The Photography
There are some places, such as the South Wales Valleys, where you can comfortably get away with taking photos in less than stunning light. Not so Malvern. If you’re going to take photos in and around Malvern, this Victorian spa town demands the very best light you have the patience to wait for.
I had the best luck taking photos in the town in the early morning, before 10am. Malvern doesn’t seem to wake up before then, making it easy to get shots without having to wait too long for traffic and pedestrians to transit out of frame.
As for the hills themselves … I know all the professional landscape photographers would never consider plying their trade under the midday sun, but I believe that there’s a lot more to landscape photography than purple dawns and dusks. The winter sun stays low throughout the day, ensuring plentiful shadows to break up the landscape and add both depth and interest. A circular polariser and careful choice of direction really helps bring the best out of the washed-out skies. And HDR adds depth and definition and ensures photos that bring an equal focus to both landscape and sky.
One of the highlights of the photography for me was visiting Little Malvern Priory. I’ve lost count over how many times I’ve driven past it over the years, and I always said I’d come back one day with a camera. I’ve finally notched that one up 🙂
Here are the best photos from the week. As always, click on each thumbnail to be taken to the larger version up on Flickr.
I think that the MacBook Pro has a great screen, but compared to the quality of my Dell 24″ monitor, it’s crap – and that’s especially true when trying to master photographs. I’m looking at the images now that I’m back at home, and I’m glad that I did. There’s a subtlety of colour and definition that needs to be brought out of these photos before they are uploaded.
Despite my by now almost routine use of HDR photography, I think that the best looking photo of this set is actually the non-HDR image of the fountain. I think the colours and detail are spot on. I’ve always found that the very best images, when they come out of the camera, just can’t be improved on in post (not with my limited skills, anyway!)