I decided to use the classic view of the Eel Traps at Leckford on the River Test as the back cover to the book. I really liked the flowing weed which, for the image I wanted, I brought out with a polarising filter and a little extra exposure to that part of the photograph. There are many images available of this view taken by scores of photographers - moody shots, shots through dawn mist and, the camera club favourite, with a long exposure to make the river look milky and smooth. Personally, I think it looks best when shot straight like this in good natural summer light. Believe it or not, when I did a Google search, this seems to be very unusual.
It might be thought that such a location would be out if sight to all but a privileged few who can afford to pay for a days fly fishing on the John Lewis owned fishery at Leckford, but no, this shot was taken from a public road!
Just gathering up the funds for the pre-orders of the book and I have now sent the finished book off to the printers. There were lots of revisions to the layout and to the image captions / text, but I am now very happy with the end result. Hardback book with glossy jacket. 164 pages in total. Phew!
The image above is the cover for the book.
Coincidentally, Salmon & Trout Conservation UK used this image of the upper Test in their newsletter on Friday.
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In due course there will be a link to the catalogue of the publishing partner - Riverside Publishing Solutions.
I sat quietly for several hours by the middle Itchen during one of my stake outs to capture an image of a Kingfisher. I had been waiting for a kingfisher to appear on the perch on the other side of the river. It was in a really good spot, immediately above an eddie on a bend and sure to be full of minnows and fry. This was not to be. The bird just flew by several times at high speed in an iridescent flash.
By early evening all was quiet and the fishermen had gone. Then it all came alive. A significant hatch of Blue Winged Olives (BWO). Spinners were swarming over the bankside reeds. A bit of quick work with my bug net and I bagged one for a photo session. The image above is, I believe, a male spinner. If only the fishermen had stayed, because the fish were rising all over the river!
The book describes and illustrates the source of our chalk streams and the different stages of the river course - from winterbournes and headwaters to meandering channels through wide flood plains. First though, an image of the chalk downs through which rain water permeates and replenishes the aquifers which in turn feed the springs. This shot was taken in the Wylye valley one morning in June after a 5.30 AM start from a local B&B. The task was to show the hills at their most colourful with the early sun. Worth getting up early for.