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Landscape Photographer of the Year 2012

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Cattle Grazing on Marleycombe Hill
I'd love to say that I had to struggle for my art to capture this image, but it was taken about three miles from my house, so its a good example of using home advantage and knowing where to go on the day.

I'd got up early for a dawn outing, but once out of the house some unexpected but welcome early mist called for a change in plan. A quick rack of my brains provided plan B, which was shortly replaced with plan C on realising the mist was very localised. So I headed to one of my favourite spots on nearby Marleycombe Hill, where I knew I could make the most of the conditions. When I arrived the sun's rays where just beginning to reach into the valley. As a bonus the grazing cattle had thoughtfully arranged themselves to give some scale to a very pastoral scene. On other visits they've chased me out of the field, so it was only fair they should contribute to the image on this occasion.

Once the sun came over the hill the mist disappeared very quickly, so it was just a case of heading home for breakfast.

For anyone who is interested the photo was taken with a Canon EOS 5D MkII using a 24-70mm lens at F16, ISO 50, 1 second exposure (thanks to all that useful data on the image file!) I used a soft ND grad diagonally across the valley and a hard ND grad over the skyline. Captured in RAW using a tripod and cable release.