Sunday, 4 February 2018

Take that photograph NOW!

Yesterday I had the daft idea to go and use the Fuji to take some 'gritty' black and white pictures of a derelict building I'd photographed some years ago (seven as it turns out). But when I set off the rain started yet again as I drove over the river swollen by a big tide. I carried straight on at the roundabout and headed for the marsh where I trudged about in the wet as the tide ran out.

I'd set the camera to black and white and took all my pictures that way. Using an electronic viewfinder this way is a bit strange to me. I'm not actually certain that seeing the picture in the viewfinder in black and white helps me.

Out of all the (few) shots I took I preferred all but one in colour. That's the advantage of raw files. Even if they look black and white on the camera's screens they turn out in colour on the computer.

I'm sure that if I flt landscape photographs were my thing I could make a decent body of work based around the marsh. But whenever I look at sets of landscape pictures I don't find myself enthralled by them. No matter how good they are, or how interesting the ideas behind them are.

Feeling at a loose end today the sun came out and I made a second attempt to get to the ruins. I thought I would have posted the pictures from my first visit on this blog, but it appears not. for reasons lost to my memory I used a wide angle lens and a flash gun. I think the flash was new and I was playing around with the new toy. It seems the day was dull and overcast and I think the artificial light quite suited the subject matter.

This time I was playing with the current new toy and its not-too-wide lens attachment. I find the 28mm-on-full-frame field of view natural to use. It doesn't often feel restrictive. certainly not as a wide view. sometimes it can be a bit short, but not all that often.

After making the walk along an increasingly muddy track I arrived at the path which lead to the old building. Or it did seven years ago. Today there was just an overgrown pile of rubble. Another small piece of industrial heritage gone. Now I'm wishing I'd taken more pictures on my first visit.

A lot of the time people convert pictures of old stuff into black and white. Same as it gets often used for street photographs as a default mode. Despite trying this I continue to prefer the original, colour, versions of the vast majority of my photographs. Perhaps this is because I am less interested in their formal qualities than I used to be, and more interested in what they document. There is also the possibility that colour can convey more of the 'ambience' of a subject. In black and white the rust hub below doesn't look as damp and gloomy as it does in colour. Not to me at any rate. I wonder how long it'll be before this has disappeared too?

In a way these pictures of the remains of small industrial sites are landscape photographs. But they'd never be categorised that way by those who have to fit photographs into narrow genres. They'd more likely be in the urbex box, although not too neatly.

However, this is a subject which interests me. The reclamation by nature of abandoned industrial sites. I'm not sure it interests me enough to concentrate on it all the time though.

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