Sunday, 20 January 2013

Down the drain

More and more I'm realising how my pictures work best as groups or collections. Looking back through some older files I see recurring themes which can be pulled together. Going right back to when I began rediscovering photography I was taking photographs of ditches and drains.

What the photographic attraction for me is with ditches is hard to say. Partly an anglers affinity with water, partly my fascination with man's impact on nature and nature's constant retaliation. And there's the straight lines. Snowfall always seems top get people out with their cameras, but it is terribly difficult to photograph. Grey skies don't help make for picturesque scenes, but the light does keep harsh shadows at bay.

As ever the flat land is difficult to work with. One way is to get a high viewpoint, another is to get in close and concentrate on details. The three frames here were all conceived as5x4 crops, two being shot as such using the in camera cropping facility. I'm not sure why, it just felt right. No doubt there would be many who would clone out the branches intruding into the top right of the first picture. I considered it, but somehow the 'imperfection' feels right. The world is messy. Why tidy it up?

I like the even light, the muted colours and the banality of these pictures. As with many of my recent 'landscape' photographs they really work better larger where the texture and detail is revealed. They were all taken within a few hundred yards of home on a walk through the woods to the fields beyond.

The wood itself poses a different problem. Being able to see the wood for the trees! It's somewhere I've been before with a camera and struggled. It's early days, two recent visits are forming ideas, and a project may evolve. It's all about trying to use your personal vision instead of trying to replicate pictures you have seen that others have made. Being so close I can make short visits to the wood at any time of the day. Like the sandplant it's a place that people use, and abuse, in an unregulated way. Although it is visited by many dog walkers, mountain bikers and kids messing about, wit the attendant rubbish, there is wildlife. Not just the expected birds and squirrels in the trees. I have seen hares in the wood in harsh times and rabbits at any time.

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