Sunday, 12 February 2012

Breaking in the boots

This afternoon I took my new boots for a walk, and some camera gear despite the mist that descended after lunch. I had nothing much in mind but I was determined to find some love for the 14-24 which I started the walk off with. I keep getting the horrible feeling I ought to have gone for something less ultrawide-to-wide. It has its uses, and it's scarily sharp, but it's uses are specialised. I took some shots with it that failed to satisfy compositionally. The most satisfactory one was a shot of a bridge which sits well in my current trend for taking boring almost symmetrical landscapes.

I walked up the side of the drain in the above photo fully intending to use the lens around the barn just about visible in the distance. However when I got there there were thousands of pink-footed geese feeding in the field beyond the barn, with more flighting in. I swapped to the 70-200 (and cursed not slipping the teleconverter in the bag) in the hope of getting some shots of geese coming in to land. It was not to be. So I took a couple of shots of the back wall of the barn. Who says you don't need vibration reduction and high ISO performance? Well people like me who hate tripods need them both!

I left the longer lens on an carried on my walk. The land around the drain is flat and featureless, and with the low mist I didn't think the wide view would be very revealing. There was a nice arrangement of plastic crates left in a leek field. The lone red crate performing Constable's trick for setting off landscape paintings. The mist and the light was less than conducive to a good picture though. Constable would probably have left his paints at home today.

The first shot is a 10x8 crop which I find more relaxed than 3x2. Somehow there's a greater stillness in landscapes framed at this ratio. Or so it seems to me. I can't decide if the wider or zoomed view makes the most of the subject. The flat lighting does neither any favours.

Something that displaying all these shots at sizes suitable for the web fails to do is show the fine detail and texture that the original files posses and which would be obvious in a print. This is one reason I make prints of my favourite pictures. These are then popped into cheap frames and scattered around the place to give me time to mull over them and work out if they are as good as I initially think they are. Only by living with pictures can you get a good handle on their merits.

No comments: