Collection of stuff

This blog post is going to feature a mix of things and discusses how I see the world, which was a part of a photo talk I made a few weeks ago, and how this is portrayed in my photography.  This style is all about taking images I like and not necessarily what others may like using a loose recipe of shooting through foliage, aiming for silhouettes by using backlighting of some kind and/or looking for warm morning/evening light.  I say a loose recipe because if there is some cold dusk lighting, I will never say no!  With the subject being small or large in the frame, let's see if any of these images fit into this style...

Let's start with a small in the frame image from a few evenings ago - click on it to make it large, it'll look a little small otherwise!  Very plain and simple in its creation relying on the setting sun to create a canvas for two Curlew to fly into.  I was excited looking on the back of the camera that it could be promising.  However, as is often the case,later on when looking at the image on the computer it didn't quite look as good.  Maybe my mind superimposed some clouds into the shot when I looked on the back of the camera?
Who knows.  Anyway,  here it is.  I like the
isolation of the two Curlew in this image and I
like to imagine where they may be heading.
Is this too arty-farty in your opinion?

Somebody told me the other evening they like Teasels but I couldn't see the appeal.  To me, they always stick thorns in my legs when I am walking through undergrowth and I've never taken an image of them I liked...  But that same evening, I spotted a teasel silhouetted against the rising Moon.  That looks nice, I thought.  The bonus was there was a street light in the distance lined up with one of the Teasel heads further down the stem giving a a ghost-like silhouette below.  Almost like the lower Teasel was trying to point out you're never alone!  So it looks like I
                                                                                        will have to eat my words when I see my
                                                                                        friend again.

Of the two images above, both are silhouettes and feature warm tones.  But what about shooting through foliage to get a narrow depth of field?  To demonstrate this, lets visit the Lake District...

Where we stay in the Lake District, we are often very lucky with the wildlife and animals that we see and this year we were watching young Pied Wagtails that had recently fledged.  I spotted this young Wagtail on top of one of the cottage roofs waiting to be fed behind some moss.  This allowed me to shoot through foliage giving a narrow depth of field.  If those small plants hadn't been there, I probably wouldn't have tried to get an image.  I also really liked the dark surroundings and when he called out for Mum to give him some food, I was extremely happy
with the result.

Whilst we're talking about the Lake District, we visited a little cafe at Buttermere where you can hand feed House Sparrows.  I went with this knowledge and having seen a photographer using a wide angle lens to photograph Blue Tits feeding out of his hand and decided to try my hand at it (excuse the pun).  Working with a wide angle lens is something that I am looking to do more of if a scenario lends itself to it and may well be incorporated into this style I mention above.  However, this was something relatively new for me but it's worth a go.

Sure enough, the sandwiches arrived followed by a low flying Chaffinch trying to land on my head!  The Chaffinch wasn't quite as keen on being in my hand as the female Sparrow was who arrived towards the end of my meal.  I reserved her a few crumbs and she obliged by posing for a few images!  However, the Chaffinch decided if he couldn't have the crumbs, then he would photobomb the House Sparrow...  Oh well!  I enjoyed the encounter and am really happy with the result.

Something that is ubiquitous in how I see the world is a vignette - a darker area around the edges of my vision.  Maybe it's a result of wearing glasses and having a blurred patch around my peripheral vision?  Maybe I am talking rubbish.  Anyway, my photography nearly always includes a vignette.  I love how it focuses your attention on the subject.  This image of a Grey Wagtail shows this I think.  There was already a natural vignette from the sunlight on the rock and the shadows but I emphasised this in Photoshop and, coupled with the yellow of the Wagtail, my eyes find
the Wagtail but still explore the image and
look at the surroundings of the bird.

After leaving York where I think my photography developed progressively and in a way I was real chuffed with, I became a little disheartened that perhaps that style of photography I like would disappear.  In fact, I didn't go out with my camera much in fear of this.  What was I thinking?!  Surely the whole point is to try and continually develop.  Mid way through this phase, I decided that I would try and get images in the same sort of vain I'd been trying for whilst at York.

I was stuck in a bit of a rut and didn't want to change my ways.  Without realising it, I had seen an article in a photography magazine all about intentional camera movement (ICM) which inspired me to try something new.  I say I was unaware because I initially dismissed the technique; I couldn't apply that to my photography, pah!  How naive we can be.  Whilst standing on the banks of a local lake that I have looked across during various seasons over various years, I spotted something I liked.  I took a shot but it lacked something...  There was some motion blur in one or two of my previous images and this stirred my memory of ICM from the depths.  Surely not...  Worth a try?  Well alright...

Perhaps in your eyes, this image holds no interest.  Perhaps you will never think about it again.  Perhaps it wasn't worth the half hour of editing.  For me though, it reminds me of where I started my photography, not only physically but mentally.  Trying new things.  Learning all the time.  That was my style.  I wonder if stating you have a style leads you like a Shepherd leading Sheep into a pen, a pen you can't get out of until someone opens a gate and you're suddenly free to enjoy the expanse on the other side of the gate.

Take this image.  If I hadn't have seen ICM in action, I wouldn't have known about it, let alone known you could capture images like this.  From 2 ICM images, I liked the water blur from the first image and the tree ghosts from the second image so Photoshop blending was needed taking those particular elements to create this image.  Sometimes, we just need someone to open that gate.

Well, it's time for me to stop babbling on.  Hopefully you have liked these images and enjoyed reading my opinions...  Fingers crossed!

Let your imagination run free!



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