Footscray Meadows, London, England by Andrew Critchell

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This was taken at my local patch, a shallow river valley with a large lake by a bridge called 'Five Arches' which is the site of an old country mansion estate, the mansion itself long having been demolished. It is a good location for the usual park-lake birds such as black headed gulls, mute swans, mallard ducks and coots which I often go at dawn or late afternoon to film and photograph, the winter sun being in a great position to light up the gulls in flight.

At dawn the sun rises behind a row of weeping willows and often in late summer there is a good chance of a light mist on the lake, made gold by the morning sun. On this particular chilly February morning a thick mist was forecast and I had gone out with the hope of getting some shots of the mature trees coming out of what was a very thick and grey fog. I took some images and headed to the lake more in hope than expectation but as I got there the mist thinned enough for the sun to shine through behind the leafless willows. I took several images using a graduated grey filter to try and balance out the exposure between the sky and the reflection.

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