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Sandwell Valley Landscapes #photography

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Before West Bromwich existed there was Bromwich, which was a small settlement at the top of Sandwell Valley.

Newton Road Tame Bridge

For this shot, I was standing on the Newton Road Tame Bridge looking down on the river. That's Wigmore Lane and you can see the bridleway in the foreground as it goes down under the Newton Road.

The bridleway is shared between walkers, cyclist and horse riders. It runs through Sandwell Valley from the Newton Road down to Forge Lake and onwards to the RSPB.

It was quite dark under the bridge and so I experimented with slow shutter speeds and set the exposure compensation to reduce the light too. You can see the effect it had on the fast running river. You can get foamy effects with a slow shutter speed and an ND filter. Using a polarising filter when you are taking photos of water can cut down the reflections too. I've decided to carry four filters in my camera bag now. A polarising filter, a warm filter, a UV filter and a soft focus filter. They all fit on my 18 – 105 lens.

This scene is alright but it is a little boring. I prefer a cyclist or a horse rider in the scene to add a little colour.

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I decided to stop at Hydes Pool in Wednesbury on my way home as it was still light. In fact, it was still quite bright and many of the pictures were too bright. This one was in a darker corner and I tried to use all 11 focus points but make sure the centre focus point was on the tree to bring it into sharp focus. I think this was probably my best picture of the day but not the most popular.

I took lots of shots of the swans and those pictures were popular. I still find it hard to decide which one is the best.

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After spending hours in Sandwell Valley, I seem to have taken better pictures closer to home. The sun was very bright for these pictures and so I used a very narrow aperture. I didn't have the polarising filter with me but I will carry it from now on and use it when there are lots of reflections on the water.

Photography isn't really about locations, it's about getting good shots wherever you are. I'm going to an event today and have some filters and I've chosen the 18 – 105 mm lens for its versatility. I don't carry too much equipment.

Sandwell Valley is worth visiting, check out Forge Mill Farm and lake and Sandwell Valley Farm too.

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