After seeing my news feed flood with sunrise shots over the New Forest in the past week (especially Rockford and Ibsley Commons) I really felt like I was missing out on something special. So, this morning I decided to set the alarm for 4am and head on over to experience it for myself. After getting some great advice from well renowned local photographer Emily Endean (check out her website, she is awesome!) I pulled up in the lay-bay at Rockford Common and made my way over to the public footpath.
After walking for nearly two hours through thick mist over the commons, I could barely see 5m infront of me and only just stumbled across the growing crowd of photographers up on the hill. The heather was in full bloom and the mist slowly crept over the valley creating this peaceful scene which was just waiting for a burst of colour from the sky.
I can't believe I've never gone to the New Forest for sunrise before... at this time of the year, it's simply stunning! Using the Sony A7ii and Zeiss Batis 18mm, I composed my first shot. I setup a portrait orientation to capture the growing heather by my feet, path leading down into the valley and the signature tree peaking over the horizon. Using a Lee 0.9 soft graduated filter, I toned down the overexposed sky and pressed the shutter. Looking on the back of the camera I was disappointing by the very flat looking image, however, as soon as I did some minor adjustments in Lightroom, colours started appearing out of nowhere and the image just came to life!
I was really disappointed with the lack of colour in the sky but as it was my first time shooting in this location it was great to be surrounded by fellow budding photographers. It was great to meet so many new people and share tips and tricks.
I also tried a panorama to capture the wider view of Rockford Commons but again, wished the sky did just a little bit more - I'll be heading back in the morning for another attempt!