Sunday, October 03, 2010

Visual coincidences

click photo to enlarge
One of the first things you learn as a photographer is to avoid having telegraph poles growing out of the top of people's heads. This knowledge comes from either a written list of dos and donts, or through bitter experience. You also discover that a distant person inadvertently "standing" on the shoulder of your subject is to be avoided too. However, occasionally you might deliberately engineer a line-of-sight shot like this for the humour that it can engender. In fact, unfortunate, or even judicious juxtapositions are best avoided for anything but this kind of  "funny" photograph.

Today's offering features one of these visual coincidences, and came about in these circumstances. I was driving along a quite busy road that by-passes Corby in Northamptonshire when I came upon this pair of water towers across the road, at the summit of a hill. It is often the case that when I'm behind the wheel and I see a potential photograph there's nowhere convenient to stop and take it. On this occasion, however, there was. I pulled across the oncoming traffic into a layby and got out for my shot. However, in changing my position I found that the clouds were now behind the water towers and positioned in such a way that they looked like they were coming from them: like steam rising from a couple of boiling pans. What to do? I couldn't wait, and I didn't want to miss the shot. Perhaps, I thought, I could give the image the title "Hot Water Towers"! Well, I took my photograph and here it is.

But, there was a further oddity associated with this image that was part of the reason I stopped to take the photograph in the first place. I'm used to seeing solitary water towers, but I can't remember ever having seen a pair standing closely together like these two. Did the rapid growth of Corby (it was a designated "New Town") demand a second one? I must find out.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 22mm (44mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On