Monday, November 30, 2009

Looking and seeing No. 2

click photo to enlarge
Today's photograph could be many things. It could show blocks of ice on a frozen planet captured by a passing spacecraft's camera. It might show shards of a broken material - say, amber, plastic or safety glass. Or it could be a close-up image, taken through a microscope, of tiny debris littering a surface that, to the naked eye, looks clean. In fact, as the photograph's title reveals, it shows raindrops clinging to the vertical surface of a door - my garage door to be precise.

A while ago, around breakfast time, I went into the garage to get something, and when, mission accomplished, I opened the door and stepped out, the low, slanting light of the sun caught the raindrops causing them to glisten and throw shadows across the painted surface. This immediately caught my eye and I went for the LX3 to get a shot of the subject. As I set the camera to macro and framed a section of the door I reflected that the resulting image wasn't as interesting as it first appeared; but I pressed the shutter nonetheless.

However, when I brought the image up on my computer screen the photograph looked more interesting than I imagined. Not because it's a shot with great composition, colour, etc, but because I was very surprised by the shape of the raindrops. I didn't expect them to be all the same, nor did I expect them to be regularly shaped - I've shot enough raindrops to know that they vary in those respects. What surprised me was the smooth angularity of so many of them. They looked more like fragments of a solid material than liquid water. The temperature was around 10 Celsius, so there was no question of them being on the verge of freezing. What I conclude from this image is that, as far as raindrops go, I've been guilty of looking and not seeing, and that my camera, once again, has opened my eyes to the truth about a small part of our world.

Why "Looking and seeing No. 2"? Because I've used the title once before, here.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On