Capture a shot of Sycamore Gap
the day started with real promise, as the Northumberland National Park was swallowed in a swirling
mist. One minute it was a thin veil, diffusing the dawn light beautifully and offering up hints of tree and peaks; the next it became a choking blank wall. This meant that there was a fair amount of pausing for potential views to reveal themselves during the walk to Sycamore Gap from the car park.
Few trees in the British Isles can have been photographed more than this iconic specimen. Made famous by the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of
Thieves, England’s Tree of the Year 2016 stands next to Hadrian’s Wall in a dip that forms a ready-made frame. It’s hard to resist taking the classic shot, but after getting this in the bag, Dave and John spent a good hour working various compositions and training their lenses on the surrounding landscape, which was beginning to reveal itself as the mist burned off. “I noticed a small gnarly tree that lies off on one of the slopes in front of the famous tree,” explains Dave. “I loved its twisted and contorted shape, and composed the shot so I could include them both, showing the old tree playing second best to the younger, more famous sycamore.”
Dave used a Lee Filters 0.9 Medium ND Grad to keep the delicate detail in the sky from being overexposed, then converted the image to black and white when he processed the raw file.
Kit Canon EOS 6D with 24-105mm f/4 lens at 47mm Exposure 1/125 sec at f/11, ISO 200