Sunday, 19 November 2017

Committed. I should be!

Saturday was the day of another big poultry show which I had foolishly agreed to take photos of the winning birds at. I had no idea what to expect in the way of facilities. As it turned out there were none. It was a case of photographing best in show and reserve champion. Both fowl being held by their proud owners. Flash on camera, set everything to automatic and job done.

Five minutes work after six hours wandering round the show and the adjoining auction with no inspiration at all. It really has become almost impossible to find new things to photograph or new ways to photograph the familiar.

Like a lot of photographers signage often catches my eye. Two signs for one event apparently directing people in opposite directions had to be photographed.

Elsewhere I made a feeble visual pun about chicken and chips. I'll get my coat....

Sometimes the play of light draws my eye even though I'm not all that good at making pictures of it. Maybe because I feel it's a bit of a cheap trick I don't make much of it? It can be all too easy to use lighting effects as a cop out. Some photographers have built careers on it!

One idea I did start to play around with, without too much success was to photograph through the pens. Most pens had back boards to them, so my opportunities were limited. And when people saw me pointing the camera through the pen they often jumped out of shot. Not always though.

I've tried this in the past but this time I stuck at it a bit longer. I spent more time than I usually do on a few ideas for pictures. I reckon that was because I had run out of steam. With nothing new to distract me I persevered with what little I had to work on.

Another departure from my standard practice was to put the camera in 'fast' mode and shoot bursts of up to five frames when I saw something occurring. Reviewing the results didn't seem to give me a better 'hit rate' though. Just more dross to delete.

It had been a long and chilly day in the show shed. When the door was opened at the close of play there was a mad rush of people carrying bird boxes out to the car park.

In the auction I suffered the same lack of inspiration/motivation having seen it all before. I was reduced to photographing 'characters'. A stack of pictures of unnamed people doing nothing doesn't really amount to much. Anonymous people are far more interesting to look at if they are doing something interesting.

There can still be vignettes found. But the pickings are slim and probably not worth the time expended in their getting.

Where next? When in doubt go to the sandplant! The continued attraction there is that it is never the same two visits running. Not having been for a look for some time I was surprised how much it's size has been reduced by. Work has been cracking on recently.

The graded sand piled up with tracks running through gives an appearance akin to a moonscape to my eyes. I didn't have long as I couldn't get out until late on, so didn't come away with many pictures. The overcast light worked well. There was just enough to provide subtle shadows to suggest form.

While still interesting the place has lost much of the character which I used to enjoy. It was much wilder, and also much more used as an unofficial amenity. That sounds contradictory, but that was how it felt. A sort of naturally rewilded adventure playground for people of all ages. Now it's more of a deserted desert.

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