The Sunday was promised to be bright and sunny, but chilly, so I had travelled with several layers to allow me to spend a good time at the chosen location, that I had already visited twice before.
I parked the car as carefully as possible to ensure the farmer and workers could still reach the field with ease, and I set up the EOS 5D MkII and 300mm plus 1.4 Converter on the Gimbal head atop my tripod, and set off up the hill after passing through the kissing gate. I knew the field to be steep and very wet, so wellies were de rigeur, as were fingerless gloves and a scarf.
The right of way led up a winding just visible track, and I knew from my last visit that it headed towards to a plateau and beyond to another gate that led to a track through the woods. I stationed myself just below the plateau for a while, before moving to the plateau where I spent the rest of my time there.
Although I had been overflown by a pair of kites as I prepared my gear, they flew beyond the valley and for the first half hour I was entirely alone with only a distant sight of kites, the occasional crows and pigeons, and no animals in sight, but I knew that sheep would be making their way across to this end of the field as the day wore on, and soon I saw a few leisurely heading my way. With their arrival also came first one, then a pair of red kite, but they were soaring way too high for me to capture anything more than a dark speck, so I watched Ryanair and Easyjet aircraft and a few private jets make their way to land at Luton Airport, hoping that they might pass close to the faint moon in the sky beyond, but they were far lower, and the moon was moving higher, so no chance! I did grab a shot of the moon itself in case I could use this later.
As the sheep arrived I alternated taking shots of them and the kites, and continued doing this and watching the sun cast ever longer shadows in the valleys around me. Ironically, the constant sun did actually raise the temperature just a bit, such that I actually felt warm, but as the valley grew darker, and the sun lowered, the thermals that kept the kites aloft presumably died because eventually I saw them no more, and I gathered my kit and returned to the car. I had watched the sheep appear from one end of the field, meander past me, and they now were headed back in the direction from which they had first come. They had fed, I had taken pictures, all was well in our world. It was hard to reconcile this with the terrible desolation and destruction that faced the Phillipines after Typhoon Haiyan; our recent skirmish with high winds was but a whisper compared to what they had faced.
Photoshop is a handy little program when it comes to making wishes come true! I had hoped I might capture a kite within the same piece of sky as the moon, but that was not to be; however using Blend If and a flipped version of one of the shots I did realise my small wish!