Last week I went for a walk around Chobham common that I’ve been postponing for a long time. It’s not far from where we live, and the walk is short and on undemanding terrain, so this tended to be left for some day when less time was available. As it turns out, it’s a great place to go for a quick afternoon walk while the days are still short. Chobham common is a heathland managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust, and from what I read is well-regarded for the diversity of its inhabitants. This is definitely a place I’ll want to go to again and again.
Divided as it is by the busy M3, I was very pleasantly surprised at how remote the place felt. From the smallish parking area on Staple hill one can see the larger towns in the distance, with Woking’s multi-storey Peacock centre and the taller New Central possible the most prominent. Once you cross Staple Hill road and into the common, the noise of traffic is quickly left behind for a very pleasant combination of heathland and wetland.
When I read on the walk’s description that ‘some tracks may be muddy’, I knew this could only mean that they’d probable be impassable after all the rain we’ve had this winter. I was not wrong; maybe 20-30m further on from where I took this photo I met a couple walking the opposite direction. They kindly advised me that it got worse further on, with the mud at least a few inches deep. Without wellies, that translates to impassable. I did not need to backtrack much, and since the detour allowed me to take this photo, it was definitely worthwhile.
I took this photo handheld as a single exposure. I was tempted to set up the tripod and do things in a more ‘formal’ way, but after taking a few spot meter readings off the sky and foreground I realised I would not need to use any filters. So shooting handheld was more convenient. In post, I applied the usual selective curves to balance the brightness of different image regions and global curves to set overall contrast.
Click on the photo for a larger version; comments welcome, as always.