Sometimes you have to come back again and again to a location in order to get a great shot. Broadway Tower has been no exception for me over the last two years - I've lost count of how many times I've been there but I've still been looking for the right conditions to show it at its best. This time I think I've finally done it justice - I grabbed my camera bag and rushed over there on the prediction of an early evening hailstorm and, right on cue, the hail came! Of course, it wasn't the hail I was after but the stormy clouds breaking afterwards, coupled with the evening sunshine that highlights my favourite composition spot, catching the tower and casting a shadow over the earth hump in the foreground. A frustrating hour of getting soaked with my camera under cover finally yielded about ten seconds of transient sunlight on the tower before the clouds took over again, and I managed to take this:
This was taken handheld a with hood on to protect from the spots of rain that kept coming, in a bit of a rush but a very necessary one! A minute earlier I'd just realised there was no memory card in the camera, amongst all my juggling around with kit in the rain. Thankfully I got a chance to rectify! Another hour later, there was no prospect of a let-up and I decided to abandon ship just as sunset was due (something I've never done before). I felt I'd already captured the best of the light and, at this time of year, the sun sets too far north-west to get any light and colour on the tower. I really like this shot because the tower looks so bold against the threatening storm clouds and the spring greens are really vivid with the rain and the sunlight.
The tricky thing with this tower is getting an acceptable (low enough) contrast balance between the tower and the sky, as very often it is overwhelmed by bright sky and/or clouds have far too much contrast between dark & light when captured. Unless you resort to HDR, which I really don't like, you will be left with either a dark tower, a washed out sky or a fake-looking attempt to have your cake and eat it. This image had great natural low contrast between all the elements and came out nicely in post-processing.
Still, the search never ends and I'll now turn my attention to the elusive morning light at the same location!