Monday, December 29, 2008

A signpost in the sky

click photo to enlarge
A couple of weeks ago I was Christmas shopping with my wife in Boston, Lincolnshire. I'd taken my camera along on the off chance of a suitable subject presenting itself. I frequently do this when shopping, but only occasionally do I snap something that I like. The fact is that securing good images requires more concentration than is possible when shopping is the main activity. That's not to say that I readily give my attention to scouring the shops. Quite the opposite in fact: I glaze over and sink into a trance-like state for much of the time.

On this particular expedition I was waiting outside a store in the market place, looking around, optimistically framing subjects then rejecting them. I pointed my camera at the lantern at the top of the 272 feet (83m) tall tower of St Botolph's church, and as I did so a flurry of pigeons flew out and around before settling again on the battlements and pinnacles. They did this a couple of times and I fired off a few shots trying to make them a visual counterweight to the architecture placed to one side of the frame. As I was waiting for the pigeons' next circuit I heard the distinctive sound of geese. Looking away to the right I saw two chevrons of pink-footed geese that appeared to be flying towards the tower but were some way beyond it.

The possibility of a shot with the geese and tower occurred to me, but the track of the geese was too low. Then something happened that never seems to happen in these situations - they changed course slightly, passed the top of the tower at just the right position, and gave me the opportunity to make a few shots. This is the best of the bunch, the first, with the leading "V" acting as a signpost that seems designed to draw the attention of the shoppers below to the beautiful Gothic open-work carving and tracery of the summit of this marvellous church. Not a great shot, but one that isn't going to be available too often.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 1o6mm (212mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On