Something a little bit different here.
Many of us travel all the time. Day in, day out along the same monotonous roads on our way to work. We do it so often that we are usually on autopilot, focusing on the road ahead rather than what is around us. That’s obviously good for road safety, but sometimes we don’t really notice what’s right under our noses.
The job roles that I have had over the past few years have involved a fair bit of motorway commuting. Miles and miles of fairly nondescript landscapes playing out in front of me for an hour and a half each way. Living in the Thames Valley in the South of England and travelling on the M4 motorway most days, despite it being mostly rural, was not particularly interesting. Until you start to notice your surroundings, that is. The changes in seasons and changes in weather can create a whole new landscape which you never really noticed before.
Skip forward to more recent times and my commute has now shifted from the boring old motorways (for the most part) and out through the British countryside for an hour or so. The thing with living in the south east of England, is that the landscape is fairly flat. I grew up on the outskirts of Snowdonia, so was used to seeing jagged peaks, mountains and valleys on my travels. A little bit of drama to the landscape. No offence, but South East England doesn’t really have that drama, but when you catch it on a good day, or in a good light, it is equally as photogenic and wonderful.
So, I present to you, some shots I have collated mostly on my route to work through the wilds of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire including the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the North Wessex Downs AONB.
Arguably, the best time to get the more impressive scenes are during the spring and summer months due to the crops growing in the region. From the bright yellow rapeseed in April, to the greens and browns of the wheat fields during the summer, the British countryside can look like a patchwork quilt of colour.
Despite being very rural, you can rarely escape the power lines and industrial plants that feed power into our homes, but sometimes you can take advantage of them to create some interesting shots.
It’s not all about the summer though. The crisp and frosty winter morning sunrises are very pleasing on the eyes and lens too.
And speaking of the sun, the summer sunsets in this part of the world can be amazing, thanks to the lack of mountains. There has been many an evening when I have either stayed out late after work, or gone back out to catch a sunset in a blazing orange sky.
So, if you have a countryside commute, pack your camera in your car or make sure that your smart phone is charged, look around (whilst driving safely) and capture some of the that great scenery that you may have never noticed before.