Sunday, 17 February 2013

In and out of focus

Although I'd headed in the direction of the market on an errand I turned back home for lunch. In the afternoon I decided to try some landscape ideas out as I thought I had it in my head what I'm trying to do with the ditch photos.  I made a few half-hearted attempts, sans tripod and filters, before jacking it in. I wanted some people in my photographs. So maybe I haven't worked it out yet. This left me with a bag full of gear that I didn't want to lug around the market, so the fall-back was the beach.

In a way this was fortuitous because I was wondering if the ultra-wide zoom would be a viable lens to use for beach people pictures. At first it didn't look as if there would be anyone to photograph. Then I saw a couple of blokes well out on the shore who appeared to be setting up to fish. Odd. They were well away from the water, the area isn't noted for fishing, and the tide was going out.

There was another chap out with a camera heading their way so I gave him first crack. However he turned left and wandered off photographing stuff, so I wandered out in the general direction of the 'anglers'.

The open expanse of flat foreshore, sea and sky doesn't suit the untra-wide. Not for my vision at any rate. I find the compression of a long telephoto more useful. The short tele was some use.

It turned out one of the guys with the rods was a novice and the other was giving him some casting instruction. I started chatting and asked if I could take some photos. No problem. Well, not exactly. Taking photos was easy enough, but taking good ones wasn't. It always seems when I visit the beach I have to shoot into the sun. With the casts aiming west this put the sun on the casters' backs. So to get a frontal shot (more engaging to see their faces) I was shooting against the light. Thank goodness for what can be pulled out of digital files.

If that wasn't troublesome enough the ultra-wide proved to be just that bit too wide to get good action shots without running the risk of physical damage from a wayward cast! The cheapo wide zoom would have been more useful.

That's not to say it didn't make a couple of good shots. The one below I think works well as it not only illustrates what's going on - one demonstrating to the other what to do, but the angles work to keep the eye in the frame. There's an implied lozenge formed by the rods, their reflections and an imaginary line between the men's feet.

The casting shots proved beyond me. I couldn't time them right at all. even at 9fps. Admittedly I didn't have long to get my eye in. With practice it would come right, I'm sure.

If I could work out how to order the frames in these damned galleries the series below could be made to make more of a narrative. C'est la vie. (Edit: Worked the ordering out and updated the slideshow.)

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