Expanses of water are a great attraction for landscape photographers. As well as offering a chance to see some beautiful reflections, they can also provide the right conditions for atmospheric mist and fog at the right time of year.
Foggy and misty conditions create images that often convert well to black and white. If you are struggling with the contrast, switch to black and white when processing and you will find that you can push things further than you can with a colour image.
At the back of the broad you can also find the river Yare. Occasionally there may be boats moored nearby which make useful subjects for a composition. You may also find that local rowing and canoeing clubs make use of the river for training so there might even be the chance of an action shot.
I often encourage people to try different viewpoints when taking photos. If you always shoot from eye level then the images tend to look more predictable as that is our normal point of view. So, one interesting approach to try near water is to get the camera down as low as possible and exaggerate the perspective. This can be done using stones to provide a temporary platform instead of a tripod. Cameras with flip screens make this much easier; otherwise you have to lie down!
The usual kind of techniques such as long exposure can work here as well. This helps to smooth out the water, which is more useful on windy days. It also stretches the clouds, which can be a lovely effect. You will normally need a neutral density filter to achieve this unless shooting in low light.
Key features to use as subjects include the Whitlingham Adventure centre . At certain times of year you can line up the sunset behind the building for a dramatic effect. Check www.suncalc.net to find out when this happens.
There is normally plenty of birdlife on the water with swans, ducks, geese and more. You will need a longer lens to make the most of this but you may get lucky if they come to the shore for a feed. With light coloured birds such as white swans you might like to try spot metering to keep detail in the feathers.
Sometimes you may even be able to photograph watersports activities on the broad. Make sure that you check if permission is needed, especially if children are involved. I was lucky enough to be able to take a few photos from a boat on the broad on one occasion.
Whitlingham Country Park offers a variety of possibilities throughout the year. Although it is largely attractive for landscape photographers, there is plenty of scope for nature photography (birds and butterflies) and possibly also sports photography. If you are thinking of using any images commercially please be aware that you will need permission as it is private property. It is a lovely place to go for a walk, a picnic and all within a few minutes of the city centre.
© Joe Lenton, September 2018
Joe Lenton is a professional photography tutor and commercial photographer. He has won over 50 international awards for his images and been featured in exhibitions around the world. He runs photography workshops and teaches various aspects of photography and images processing one to one . For more free photography tips and to enquire about photography training please visit Original Art Photography .