Saturday, 7 September 2013

Evening light

For the last month I've been making the most of the fine weather holding and going fishing whenever I've had any spare time. There has been some interesting light which I have photographed in my usual lazy way when I'm fishing. Near enough is more than good enough!

One evening when the sun had been officially set for almost an hour and I was walking back to the car the afterglow reflecting on the wind ruffled lake stopped me in my tracks. Of course I had no suitable tripod with me and had to hand-hold the camera. Whenever I do this the most pleasing composition is the one which suffers from camera shake, and so it proved.

I resolved to return the following evening without fishing tackle but with tripod and wider lens. The light was good and there were sparse clouds promising a chance of getting a similar shot. The only thing missing was the wind. I set up in advance to get the framing right - and realised the wider lens was just a bit too wide. Before the sun set it was possible to hand hold and keep the shutter speed up enough to avoid wobbly-hand syndrome doing its worst. This allowed me to position the sun behind some leaves, stop down the lens, and get a starburst. A nice enough picture, but not what I was aiming for.

Nature never repeats itself, so it was no surprise that when the sun set cloud formations wouldn't perform and replicate those of the previous evening. The pink glow refused to materialise, the clouds began to block in and foil my carefully chosen composition. I was forced to move and make the best of things. While the result wasn't what I had in mind it evokes a different, but still satisfying, mood.

A rainy day today meant no fishing, so when things dried up towards evening I ventured out to my usual haunts along the shore. The light was changing all the time, with showers moving overhead and along the horizon. The sandplant wasn't doing it for me so I drove south to the track the shrimpers use. To me these two shots evoke what it feels like out there. The light certainly helps (the low grey cloud helping the framing for one thing), and it also seems that the telephoto's compression of depth manages to convey the space and flatness. Which is counterintuitive. A wide angle lens, encompassing far more, would seem to be better suited to conveying the feeling of being in a wide open landscape.

There is nothing along the coastline until the Lakeland Fells in the north and the Welsh Mountains in the south. The only thing that breaks the horizon is the gas rig. Unsurprisingly this gets photographed regularly by all and sundry. Myself included. Until now I've not managed to make a picture of it that has been much more than a silhouette against a sunset. The temptation is to make the rig as large as possible in the frame. I think this picture is more successful because the rig is small, but readable, and it is placed in the context of it's location rather than isolated as a shape against a sunset. In that case the sunset is really the subject. Here the whole scene is the subject. The rays of light just happened to appear in the vicinity of the rig, making it more of a focal point. While there might not be much going on in the foreground there is sufficient to hint that people traverse the marshy land. This is not a romanticised landscape in the way the lake pictures are intended to be. But it's still a subjective image because of the way I chose to frame it, what I included, gave prominence to and omitted.

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