Sunday, 23 July 2017


With nothing to focus my attention on I've been at a loose end recently, resorting to either vegetating or more recently wandering around the usual places with a camera or two. Yesterday evening I forced myself to go out with two neglected lenses (the long zoom and the wide zoom) just as a thunder system was skirting the area. That was good in that it made for dramatic skies, and light when it had passed away.

My first stop was the marsh reserve, more to see what changes had taken place since I was last there than to take photographs. I shot a few frames, trying to be clever, but only managed the one below when the sun went into hiding. Too bright a sun when it is low can make things too contrasty. I much prefer a softer light for this sort of picture.

Then it was on to the beach. Again more to have a look at what was going on. The tide was well out, and there were two hours until dark so the chances of the fishing boat returning to its trailer parked on the shore without a long wait were slim. The thunder was over to the east now and the sky clearing behind it casting low, warm, sunlight on the dunes. Luck favoured me and there was someone wearing a bright yellow jacket stood looking out to sea atop one of the sandhills. The yellow contrasting nicely against the blue-grey sky. All I had to do was get the framing and the timing right.

Landscape photographers are divided as to including people in their pictures. Luckily I'm not a landscape photographer so I don't give a toss. Although on the whole I prefer pictures with people in them regardless.

There are rarely any people in the sandplant these days, except when it's being worked on. After a period of inactivity I saw the other week that more work is going on. Calling in on my way home yesterday it looks like the outermost edge is being gradually skimmed back and the rubble and other junk that was under the old surface is being separated from the sand. It'll be a long process to remove all the hardcore and scrap metal to get the place anything like back to how it was. I guess in the days when the plant was started environmental issues were less of a concern. The coast road itself was built on building and household waste. I remember my parents tipping garden rubbish there. There must be all sorts under the road.

No matter what sort of photographer you are a rainbow is always hard to resist. Even when it's behind a pile of rubbish.

The rainbow arced right over the sandplant as I left it. I almost didn't take the shot when I noticed my shadow central in the frame, but now I think that is what makes it work. It's a connection of a person with the landscape. The play of light casting a foreground shadow helps balance the picture.

What the wanderings proved to me was that the long lens is still too long at the short end. That gap between the wide and long zooms was where I wanted to be a lot of the time. I suppose that if I stuck to that combination of lenses I might begin to 'see' in ways that suited them.

This afternoon I set out on another boredom relieving drive with even less idea of where to go or what to do. This time taking a daft combination of a moderately wide compact camera and the 85mm lens on a DSLR. Again I found myself falling between two stools. The only take away from the experiment being that the compact takes good shots, as does the 85mm.

Boring though it may be, I reckon for aimless wanderings a mid range zoom is more useful than anything I've tried this weekend. Then again, my two favourite shots form the lot were taken one at 18mm and the other at 200mm. So that's that theory blown!

The lack of poultry shows has made me realise that I'm desperately in need of a project to get my brain working.

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