Sunday, 17 January 2021

Bath time

Yet another week of dire weather keeping me indoors most of the time. One dry morning I took the opportunity to park in my accountant's car park and have a wander down a rough lane in search of sheep. I found sheep but they weren't up for having their photos taken. This lane is the kind of place I like looking at but, as with so many places I like being and looking, it's somewhere I find difficult to photograph.

But give me an object and I'll snap away. Unusually for this area the fields are mostly used for grazing, at least on one side of the track. Stock needs watering and old baths have long been used as water troughs for cattle and horses. for some reason a couple of baths down this track had been put in the hedges. Kind of surreal. So they had to be photographed. That then got me to thinking there might be a project to be had photographing other baths in the countryside. The idea didn't last long, but you never know, it might take over from Lost Balls Found when I finish that one off.

With nothing else to do that day I went out again in the late afternoon. I swithered about going for too long which meant that I was a bit late to get any really decent pictures of some ditch clearing work on the moss edge.

After the thaw and rain three days later I woke to frost and fog. I couldn't face walking far in that so I drove round my most frequently tramped mossland route hoping to see something worth making a picture of. I pretty much failed so stopped and took a boring picture.

Feeling as though the moss is probably best left alone as the returns are diminishing I still couldn't think of anywhere or anything else to photograph so it was back there again this afternoon. To my surprise I saw a few things which I either hadn't thought of photographing before or things which had appeared since my last wander around the route I took.

The patterns made by the trailing pumpkin stems (or whatever they are called) struck me as otherworldly.

One of the flooded field wasn't as wet as it had been for weeks. This was partly due to a drainage channel having been dug to the nearby ditch. I made two pictures of this channel. One as an abstract, the other in vertical orientation to show the scene in full - and explain what was going on.

The vertical shot has given me the idea to make more pictures in that orientation of the mossland landscape. Something else I'll probably forget about...

I seem to have a thing about diesel pumps. Although I've photographed this one before it hasn't had a leak before.

The print making has got started. How long it will last is another matter. However, the albums work well. I've populated one with a set of prints from my short canal project. It took a bit of messing about to work out the layout for the first page but now I have a template it'll be easy to make variations on the theme.

Using 270gsm paper I have 23 sheets in the album and reckon a couple more will fit with ease. 

Going forward I intend to add a clear coversheet for the front page to protect what is visible through the hard cover. The snap-in page loading has also given me ideas for including other material along with the photo prints, and maybe also to use double sided photo paper.

Recently I've added a couple more books to my library. Photo Work was recommended on The Online Photographer. It was reasonably priced and the concept appealed to me. Forty photographers answering the same questions about the way they approach project based photography.

It's a book to dip in to, or read in bursts, rather than from cover to cover in one go. This is because it's a little repetitive. I'd have liked it more if the photographers hadn't been mainly American, and had been ones whose work was familiar to me. One I'll dip into again.

The other book is the third edition of one of my favourites, Paul Hill's Approaching Photography.  This is a significant update and worth having even if you have an earlier edition.

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