Thursday, 25 April 2013

Spring sunshine

The way light shines through recently opened translucent leaves is one of those sights which equates with spring. The pale yellow-greens as evocative of the season as golden hues are of autumn. The way to capture this is to shoot into the light. Which is always tricky trying to strike a balance for the exposure. The light meter never gets it right on its own.

My first efforts were pretty stereotypical. There were so many leaves in the wood that it was difficult to know which to choose as subjects. I had wanted to make pictures that were almost all leaves, bright points scattered across the frame. there still has to be some background to provide a sense of place and context. Still bare branches worked to an extent. I made one picture that pleased me compositionally, looking good on the camera's screen but not on the computer's.

The other option, so often done, is to isolate a leaf, or a few leaves together, against a less cluttered background. Nice enough, but not exactly original.

The evening was slipping by and I'd come to the conclusion that the sun needed to be higher in the sky to illuminate the leaves. I made my way back through the wood. I was almost at the bridge over the bordering ditch when I looked back and through a clearing in the canopy created by a fallen tree I saw an interesting cloud pattern. Initially I made shots framing the clouds with the bare branches of the trees. A couple of them are nice enough. At some point I spotted a few leaves on these branches and began to frame shots to include them. Conventionally at first.

The sky was changing quite quickly despite the wind being light so I was continually moving position to keep the cloud forms in sight. That caused me to make some less conventional compositions.

Considering I had only taken a camera along to accompany my birdwatching walk I felt like I had made some interesting pictures. They may not be technically perfect, but they have provided food for thought. No doubt if I set out to make more pictures in the same vein there will be an uninteresting sky to thwart me!

For the last of the evening light I headed to the canal in search of spring migrants, a few of which had arrived. I also added a couple pf shots to my growing collection of deliberately boring, deserted, canalside building pictures. The play of light on such subjects can make them slightly less boring. In time they might come together to make a coherent set.

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