Cold and silent and smooth

Yesterday, we took the scenic route home from our friends’ wedding, via Cheddar Gorge and Portishead. I had visited the former as a child and was very happy to go back. Such a beautiful part of the country, and the caves are just lovely. So peaceful. I could imagine sitting there silently, all alone, just enjoying the peace and drinking in the beautiful structures and smooth surfaces.

Gough's Cave, Cheddar Gorge.
Gough’s Cave, Cheddar Gorge.

Naturally, I took my camera. I think it coped rather well, really. Opted for manual focus with focus peaking as, true to gossip, the AF on this camera (X-E1) isn’t brilliant in low light. Well, it’s just impossible really. But the focus peaking is amazing, and whilst I couldn’t quite see everything I think it did okay. Had the ISO bumped very high at times, there was no other way to get enough light without compromising on DOF (which I didn’t want to do as I knew I wasn’t able to see where my focus landed quite precisely enough for that) or getting camera shake. Though I took a couple of shots resting on the stone, using the timer to help avoid shake from pressing the shutter button, and got some decent results at 1/4 of a second. Exposure Preview mode (which I love anyway) was also a dream in this situation, and overall didn’t have too many straight-to-the-bin pictures. Plenty where the composition wasn’t great, but that’s my fault, not the camera’s!

Tried a couple with flash too (everyone else seemed to be doing it), but they were mostly awful so I abandoned that idea quickly.

Anyway, boring stuff done, pictures now. The reflections were particularly entrancing. The pools were so still, we only saw them move when droplets fell from the stone above. I still want to do a corsetry project based around mirroring, symmetry, and/or distortion… I wonder if these would print onto fabric well? I especially love how this first image is rather moth-like.

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