Thursday, 26 March 2015

Winter sun

This first shot today is taken in our front garden.  We are in our house 10 years now and this used to be a field - not much changed there, eh?  We didn't so much design the 'herbaceous' borders, as you can see, it was more a case of 'fill that space' with something - anything!  Anyway, some weak winter sun provided quite a nice effect through the tree-thing.

Weak winter sun in the garden, 2015
Never a good idea to point a rangefinder camera at the sun for too long - no mirror between the lens and the shutter, but I think I got away with it on this occasion.  Now, a word about composition - that's the thing that results from the direction in which you, the photographer, are pointing the camera thing.  Did you notice I cut the top of the tree off?  Was this deliberate I ask myself.  Don't know is the answer - sort of, I guess.  The sun is roughly sitting on the 1/3 line and the rule of thirds is well-known in photography.  The shadow of the tree in the foreground occupies slightly more than 1/3 of the image, but since this is a major feature of the shot that's OK - it leads the eye into the image.  I think if I'd included the top of the tree then the detail in the middle of the frame would have been even more compressed and the whole thing would not have worked so well.  Of course none of the above was in my mind when I composed and pressed the shutter release!  Well maybe it was, but sub-consciously, lol.  One final note - the digital peeps would have removed those sticks intruding into the shot in the top right...but that's not what we do here, right?!

Now we like a wee stroll in the country, so we do.  We are fortunate to live in an area where there are beautiful walks all around us - walks of both the seaside and the country variety.  This next shot was taken in one of my favourite places, Mountsandel,  just last week. I've written about Mountsandel previously - it of the Bronze Age settlement, earliest known man in Ireland and all that.  The River Bann runs alongside this path, just to the left.  Perhaps a tad too much contrast in this one, but sometimes you have to experiment, right?

River walk, Mountsandel
I've decided I rather like the winter.  Overcast skies are just the best for B&W photography and when the skies aren't overcast - a rare event in this part of the world I can tell you - then the sunlight is usually quite weak and soft.  Bare trees are good - although trees are good with leaves too so that's OK.  What isn't so interesting for B&W photography are clear blue skies - luckily that doesn't happen very often where I live haha.  The great thing about our climate is that the weather conditions change frequently, so if it's bright and sunny now you just have to wait a couple of hours and things will be different.  Ditto if it's raining.  Now what could be better than that, I ask you.

I was caught out that day in Mountsandel - this was the last shot in the film and I'd forgotten to bring another film with me.  How could that happen?!  My esteemed former colleague Dr Charles laughed when I told him and suggested an alternative - how dare he mention the d***tal word? He knows my views on that subject well enough, I can tell you.

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