Friday, June 05, 2009

Razor wire arabesques

click photo to enlarge
When I took up bird watching at the age of eleven I didn't realise that for the rest of my life I was going to see the world in a slightly different way from most people. The filter that everyone has that stops them noticing every bird and bird-like movement that comes their way was removed from my eyes, and to this day it remains absent: I still, over four decades later, note, identify (where possible), and often comment on, the birds that I see as I go about my everyday business.

Seeing the world in a different way is also a trait that amateur and professional photographers share. Once the photography bug has bitten, views, objects and situations are scanned and considered for their photographic potential. A group of people standing against the light will be sized up for the silhouette that they make, for the way the light forms a halo of their hair, and for how the background interacts with them as a main subject. An angry sky with clouds of different hues forming and reforming in the wind, will be appraised not for the likelihood of it drenching everyone within the next few minutes, but for the contribution it could make to a shot of the landscape below. Some graffiti under a concrete fly-over will be seen not as a place to avoid for fear of being mugged, but as a potential source of gritty, graphic, and colourful images. And a temporary hoarding made of re-used plywood topped with razor wire, seen on a sunny day, will be photographed for the arabesques that the sharp wire and its equally sharp shadows throw across the flat surface.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 20mm (40mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On