Tuesday, 5 May 2015


Sometimes inspiration is hard to come by.  There is more than one way to approach your photography of course.  One way is to plan a shoot, reconnoiter the location beforehand, know where you are going to stand, what camera/lens/film combination to use, what time of day/weather conditions you want and so on.  That's what the Michael Kenna's of the world do.  The other way is simply to go out and about without a clear vision and simply see what presents itself to you.  I'm mostly in the latter camp these days.  I'm getting better at always carrying a camera and the more I do, the more I'm convinced that there is always something to photograph - even on days when inspiration appears rather thin on the ground.

I wrote yesterday a little about the idea of photographing the same place again and again and this is something I can see myself doing more of.  Yes you can go visit somewhere new and get great enjoyment from that, but there is a real challenge in finding new ways to photograph a familiar place. Perhaps partly the reason for thinking like this is that my lack of mobility means I'm less inclined to jump in the car and drive long (or even short) distances these days.   But maybe also the familiarity you have with a place gives you an advantage - perhaps you are more able to see beyond the obvious.

The other day, when the Nikon arrived, I loaded it up with film and just walked out around the house, ready to photograph anything just to test the camera.  Now I'm not saying any of the resulting snaps are masterpieces or anything, but I was mildly happy with them, given that I practically know every leaf and tree in the garden.  One of my favourite quotes is by Gerry Winogrand, who said something along the lines of 'I photograph something to see how it looks when photographed' - the fact is that the world does look different in print (or in scan, as we have here).

It's a plant

The next one here really needs a wee birdy sitting on the post, but none was available at the time...

Where's the birdy?
Interesting depth of field in this one...taken with the lens wide open of course, at f/2.8.  The post is sharp and although the wire in front of it is reasonably sharp too, behind the post the sharpness falls away very quickly.  I must take that shot again, perhaps with the focus point slightly behind the post.  This particular lens (180mm) clearly has an 'interesting' character to it and I think I'm going to enjoy using it.

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