First of all the apology. I've only just discovered that I had comments enabled on this blog, but not the notification for moderating them. That's why anyone who has commented hasn't had the comment posted or had an acknowledgement. All a bit irrelevant now as I think this may well be the last post I make here having run out of things to say that don't repeat myself. Anyway....
I've been to thirteen agricultural shows this summer, and failed to find another after getting terribly lost, with only one day of light rain and no muddy fields to get the car stuck in. In some ways the photographs have changed, mostly because I'm getting in closer than I used to. There is a more inclusive look to pictures taken up close with a 'standard' or moderately wide angle lens to those zoomed in from further away to give the same frame filling effect. As an example, the shot above was taken with a 28mm lens.
Even so it has proved increasingly difficult to find new pictures of the old subjects. One thing that has helped is getting a lower angle. Again, being at 'sheep's eye level' increases the connection between viewer and subject. Thsi has seen me using the flip out screen a lot more than in the past. Not only does this save my ageing knees, it also means I can get out of the way faster when sheep are heading my way!
Unfortunately my camera was slow to respond in liveview, and the focus point difficult to move around. I was missing a lot of potential shots. So I bit the bullet and upgraded to a camera with better performance in this department. For once an upgrade has made a difference to my success rate. So much so that I find I'm suing liveview at least half the time now, and not just for low down pictures, it's useful for other angles too.
Another thing that's changed for me is posting sheep pictures to Facebook. I'm still no fan of the platform, there's so much about it that annoys me, but it is the easiest way to let sheep people find the photos and get an idea what I'm up to. It's a way of giving something back to the unwitting participants in my pictures and also opens up more interaction with people at the shows. There are other side benefits such as the odd free entry to shows and the occasional picture sale too!
It is not without some downsides, or maybe diversions. There's no doubt that the sort of pictures which go down well on social media are different to the ones I take for myself. The boxes are pretty easy to tick, though, so it's not hard to take the crowd-pleasers while still looking for the Lumbypics.
One break from sheep photography was a day spent concentrating on cattle. I wasn't too sure how that would go when asked to go along, but having a fresh subject was good as everything was new to my eyes.
No matter what the subject the problem is always the same - looking for ways
to frame pictures that, with a bit of luck, tell a story, or at least put the
As well as trying to get in close I've also been making an effort to take more 'messy' pictures. Ones in which there is a lot going on and/or make a sort of abstract composition. Sometimes they work, sometimes they almost work, mostly they fail!
It's that striving for the perfect picture (unobtainable) that keeps me
interested when motivation starts to flag. Something else that has kept me
interested is starting to dabble in video. The new camera is easier to use a
video camera. I've only been practicing technique and getting to know how it
works so far, but maybe I'll plan a short sheep video out sometime.