Sunday, April 19, 2009

All wrong is alright

click photo to enlarge
When it comes to making photographs I usually have very clear ideas of what I want the outcome to be. In fact I have usually "seen" the image before I raise the camera to my eye. After I've pressed the shutter I "chimp" to check the results, and if necessary, take one or more shots, varying the composition, point of focus, depth of field or exposure (usually using the EV facility), chimping each subsequent image to see if if matches my preconceived idea.

This relatively slow, measured, fairly painstaking method isn't everyone's way of taking photographs, but it suits me. I'd say that 95% of individual shots that I keep are secured in this way. That being the case, what about the other 5%? Well, these tend to be images where I visualise the final image but the camera has other ideas and offers me something that I didn't have in mind - but I like it anyway. Or it's where I take a shot speculatively, thinking to myself, "I wonder what kind of image this will produce". Then there are those where I get it all wrong, but end up with something that pleases me: the image above being a case in point.

On this one I wanted to take a photograph of the mix of fairly lurid colours in a variegated tulip I came across in a local park, and thought I'd try a shot that had the whole bloom in focus. But, I was distracted before I framed the shot, forgot to set the aperture to give me a big depth of field, forgot to set the ISO to 400, and reckoned without a gust of wind moving the flower head as I pressed the shutter. Consequently the image has blur from a shallow depth of field and motion blur. However, photography is one of those visual arts where it's occasionally possible to produce something that you like by accident, and that's what happened here. The image has a certain sticky sweets packed with colouring, sea-side rock, candyfloss, cheap plastic toy sort of charm. Sometimes, it seems, when you get it all wrong you can produce something that is alright.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/20
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On