Friday, November 06, 2009

Simplify, simplify simplify

click photo to enlarge
I suppose, in a way, I was an early adopter of new technology. I had a home computer in the early 1980s when they became affordable, and I haven't been without one since. Similarly, I had broadband relatively early, and remember being told by an engineer that our house was one of only four in the neighbourhood who had a high-speed connection (as 1MB then was). On the whole I've valued the way a computer and an internet connection has enriched my life. However, as the scope of the offerings and possibilities of the internet have widened, I've become selective, adopting some innovations and rejecting others. Email, digital photography, blogging, online commerce and finance I've embraced. However, gaming, virtual worlds, Facebook and Twitter I've rejected. It may be a function of my age, but I find that now I have more time I'm simplifying my life and pro-actively choosing or rejecting every "next" thing that comes along. I find that if you don't do this then there's a danger that your life becomes like a shattered mirror - your view of the bigger picture is distorted and you lose the essential clarity that is necessary for navigating your way through life.

And, as with life, so with photography. Sometimes you've got to reject the wide view that your camera offers, with all its disparate details, and home in on that which is elementary and interesting for itself: in other words you've got to simplify things. A few days ago I was standing on the banks of the River Great Ouse at King's Lynn alongside a couple of boats, with the river beyond, the blue sky above flecked with white and grey clouds, and a shore full of nautical apparatus - masts, metalwork superstructures, buoys, cables, etc. Looking about me I felt there must be a few images to extract from the location. There was, and the image I post above is the best I got. The tops of the buoys outlined against the sky, a small detail of the whole scene appealed to me for that elementary simplicity - a few basic colours, simple shapes, textures and shadows. As I processed the RAW image into a JPEG I noticed that slightly increasing the saturation and contrast gave it more of the three-dimensional quality that also attracted me when I took the shot, and so that is how I present it.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 16mm (32mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/640
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On