Friday, 5 February 2010

Down with nature reserves

This may turn out to be a rant. I visited a local nature reserve which I hadn't been back to since I was on Job Creation there some 24 years ago. Much was still the same, but it seemed far less wild and far more sanitised. The paths are now wheelchair friendly, which I suppose is a good thing but detracts from the feeling of being 'in' the natural world. There are fences round some parts of the place. Areas designated for particular wildlife. Despite the birds, and any unseen mammals, being free to come and go as they please it all felt a bit like a zoo.

There weren't many photos to be found. The light was quite appealing, but not really strong enough for hand held close-ups. I must get a tripod sorted out, even if it will hamper my modus operandi. It would make shots like this have a greater depth of focus though.

On my way there I'd stopped off a few hundred yards from home to photograph something I'd spotted earlier and ended up finding the two best shots of the day by chance. The photo I thought I was going to find wasn't there, nor (to any real satisfaction) were the ones I thought might be found out on the moss, the flat dark peaty-soiled area outside the village. One, of some maize left at the edge of a black tilled field, was particularly elusive. To get the composition I'd have needed a ladder. Far easier for a painter who can move things around at will without the restrictions a lens and viewfinder frame impose.

Out until dusk on the marsh where I chatted briefly about cameras and barbel with a birder hoping to capture a barn owl in pixels.

All that driving and walking and my favourite shot of the day came from a spot I can see from the back bedroom window!

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