Sunday, 19 October 2014

Landscape Lessons

Still lacking in ideas I thought I'd take that blasted polarising filter to the marsh this morning. As I inferred last time I'm slow on the uptake. Wet mud is not much different to wet sand so I shouldn't have been surprised by the effect the filter had. Whether it's useful is another matter. For colour shots it certainly is as it lightens and warms the mud, and adds brightness to grass. It subtly alters the shadows too, which is interesting

With that experiment out of the way, the tide just starting to ebb and strong sunlight illuminating the other side of the estuary I made some 'sketches' in the flat light on my side of the river. Just playing around with possible compositions in a landscape mode. Wide angle lens, polariser, lines and textures. Standard stuff.

Wandering around I saw some bedraggled wool on a barbed wire fence and was immediately compelled to photograph it. The results were far from brilliant but... I realise that instead of looking for 'landscape' shots to try to evoke the place I ought to be looking for the sort of pictures I usually make. After all they represent the way I look at the world. A picture doesn't have to show the landscape to be about the landscape. As usual I didn't twig what I'd got with the picture below until it was on the computer and too late to make a better job of it.

From a different viewpoint, maybe with a different lens or aperture, these elements could sum up the marsh. Wool tells you there are sheep grazing, mud (just about visible in this shot) and reeds hint at the marshiness, the wire illustrates that it is a partially tamed environment, the level horizon shows how flat it is. Not a great picture, but it's proved to be a jumping off point to find a way into this whole 'landscape' thing. It's got my brain grinding away and given me ideas to try out.

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