Saturday, January 12, 2008

Walking and clicking

click photo to enlarge
There are lots of ways to secure good photographs, but recently I've been thinking about two contrasting approaches. The first involves getting on an aeroplane or ship, or into a car and travelling to a distant, preferably foreign location, often with a pack of other photographers, and snapping away for a couple of weeks. I think of this as the "Luminous Landscape" approach to photography because each time I have a look at that website I see images taken on such trips to India, Africa, the Antarctic or some other far flung land. Now it's perfectly possible to get good images in this way, but it's also extremely easy to fill your camera with cliches, as you're seduced by the novelty of what you see.

The other approach is to regularly walk around the area in which you live at different times of day, in different seasons, and in different kinds of weather. Now it's perfectly possible to get bad images this way! But, because you are familiar with the area, and because the subject matter is more limited you have look more closely to find your photographs. And therein, I think, lies the benefit of this second approach - you are more likely to learn the key skill of photography, and you have a better chance of coming up with some original images.

I make no great claims for originality for today's photograph, taken as I walked around Boston, Lincolnshire. I like shadows, and I like positive/negative effects, and this composition appealed to me because it embraces both of these characteristics. The palm is in the garden of the white Regency date house, but its shadow is thrown onto its adjoining brick-faced neighbour (of the same period). I converted the image to black and white to emphasise the qualities I liked.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 53mm (106mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -1.0EV
Image Stabilisation: Off