Monday, 16 June 2014


It must be the horribly warm and sunny weather that's done it, but I've been feeling lethargic of late. I've had no motivation for taking photographs, blogging, fishing or anything else for a couple of weeks. Not even when my foot improved. I've also had the problem of too many options - both piscatorial and photographic. That might seem like an odd problem to have, but what it means is that my indecisive nature prevents me setting my mind to any one of them!

After a couple of disappointing fishing sessions boredom overcame me on Thursday evening I popped out to try and make some serious pictures for my deserted car park series at the closed down restaurant/pub. The bright sunshine didn't inspire me, and cast my shadow into the frame too often thwarting some of my pre visualised pictures. That'll teach me to set out with specific images in mind... I got one shot I sort of liked, even if the blue sky is too cheerful.

I was bored again on Saturday morning so I grabbed a camera and went for a walk with no ideas at all. Down by the canal the clearance of the old mill was progressing and I made some more pictures to document the change. Being restricted to shooting over, or through, the fence is a bit limiting.

It seems to be the done thing to make black and white conversions when depicting scenes of industrial decay. So I gave it a try.

The temptation with processing software is to give pictures impact and drama by increasing contrast. I deliberately overdid the sky in the shot above. For some reason the modern trend is to darken the blues to make the clouds stand out. Yet that's not the way we see things. The tone of sky and clouds is actually much closer than we imagine. Compare the brightness of the sky with the brightness of the lit walls in the colour version below to see what I mean. The tone of the sky in the black and white version is closer to the tone of the shaded walls in the colour picture.

In a similar way polarising filters frequently get used to darken skies, with similarly obvious results. I rarely drag my polariser out, but when I do i always notice the effect it has on taking the shine off vegetation. If I could remember this in advance I might use it more.

For some years I have thought about taking my camera out on the village's walking day, but something has always stopped me. I think partly it's because I knew there wouldn't be much that could be done beyond the usual snapshots people take. There's not much to be seen, really, and the angles available are limited. Still being bored on Saturday afternoon, and with the Test Match in a prolonged period of tedium, I dragged my camera out nontheless.

As I expected the procession itself was lacking in much visual interest and the onlookers were the more interesting subjects.

I took well over 100 shots and only a couple or three were close to decent pictures. Maybe I ought to have taken more? What was obvious was that I was out of practice and it was only towards the end of the procession, which I followed around rather than sitting in one spot waiting for it to pass by, that I began to start seeing pictures. By which time it was too late.

If one was to set out to document an event such as this, and make interesting pictures, I think the way to do it would be to photograph the preparations and work out from that.

Part way along the route I took a short cut up a footpath alongside some greenhouses to get ahead of the procession. I got distracted, first by a lost ball in a ditch and then by a view through the side of glasshouse - which provided my favourite shot of the afternoon.

It's odd, but I don't think I could improve the framing of this picture. Odd because it's the only shot I took. It probably worked out like that because I wasn't thinking.

No comments: