Burnham Beeches National Nature Reserve is a woodland area in South Buckinghamshire, just to the west of London. It is owned and managed by the Corporation of London, which acquired it in several parts from 1880 onwards under the City of London’s Open Spaces Act (1878). This authorised the Corporation to acquire land within 25 miles of the City as open space for the recreation and enjoyment of the public. Burnham Beeches is further safeguarded by national and international legislation and has been a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1951 and a National Nature Reserve since 1993. In 2005, Burnham Beeches was designated as a Special Area of Conservation.
Burnham Beeches consists of 220 hectares of wonderful, ancient woodland, intermixed with wood pasture, coppice, ponds and streams, grassland, mire and heathland. As the name suggests, it is mainly beech woodland.
The weather conditions on the morning that I took this image were ideal for woodland photography. When conditions are bright, the dynamic range of the woodland scene is often too high for the camera to deal with. The soft, diffused light of overcast days results in more manageable lighting conditions.
There was no fog in the forecast and none when I arrived early one chilly November morning. However, as the air temperature started to rise, mist started to swirl amongst the tree trunks. I found this grouping of trees with plenty of autumn colour and composed the image to exclude the featureless sky. I used the histogram in live view to adjust the exposure in order to retain the beautiful whiteness of the mist. I also used a polarising filter to reduce the glare on the wet leaves, which also enhanced the colour saturation and gave a more balanced feel to the image.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor