Friday, 25 January 2013

Looking for a different ratio

Maybe it's looking at large format landscape photographs of late that has seen me switch my camera into 5:4 format on a frequent basis, or maybe it's the subject matter that's doing it to me. Although I prefer to compose within the camera  I've cropped a number of shots to 16:9 as well as a means of concentrating on the subject.

My initial idea for taking photographs in the wood was to concentrate on details in the context of their surroundings, sometimes slightly out of focus. It was too easy to lose sight of the wood for the trees and this seemed like a solution to avoiding messy pictures with no point of interest. All too often the results seemed trite. Low level shots of mossy stumps or logs weren't doing it for me. The odd fungi shot was okay, but too many became tedious.

The snowfalls and melts, however, began to help matters. A lot of snow on the ground hid the general clutter of leaf litter and fallen branches making the shapes of the trees stand out. When the snow melted it often lingered on the larger logs and stumps so they stood out against the leaf litter. There were distinct graphic elements for me to work with. This kind of subject is still something of a struggle for me, but it is becoming clearer where I'm heading.

There hasn't been time to stop when I've been driving past the icy, snow covered saltmarsh this week although it has looked bleakly inviting. Yesterday the sun played its usual trick of breaking through in mid-afternoon luring me out, then disappearing behind a blanket of uniform grey. The intention had been to do things properly with low ISO and tripod. The cold and laziness kind of changed that plan so I boosted the ISO and hand held. I didn't feel like I was missing much as things seemed less appealing once out of the car. There was one brief spell when some clouds broke. The lack of depth of focus doesn't detract from the shot to my mind. Unfortunately there wasn't much scope for finding foreground interest. The colours were pleasing though and the high viewpoint helped somewhat. In 3:2 portrait format there would have been either too much sky or too much grassy stuff. Now I've set the camera so I can easily switch aspect ratios I expect to be chopping and changing on a frequent basis.

No comments: