Friday, August 05, 2011

The lime tree avenue

click photo to enlarge

A title or caption to a photograph works very much like the title of a poem - it influences the way you see what follows. A photograph I took in Swineshead, Lincolnshire, illustrates this quite well. The old brick building with the pointed door and shadows from nearby trees looks interesting. However, with the title, "The Gravedigger's Door", it takes on an entirely different character. You wonder what's behind the door, your mind begins to wander into darker places, and the shadows, perhaps, take on the appearance of fingers!

Today's photograph shows an elderly lady walking her dog along a fine lime tree avenue at Long Sutton, Lincolnshire. The character of the image is fairly neutral. However, if I tell you that the gates at the end of the avenue open on to the cemetery a different mood may well start to pervade the shot. The age of the person can become more significant, and there is the temptation to to fabricate little storylines in your head. Why is she alone? Is she going to visit a grave? Whose grave?

Of course none of this may have been in the mind of the person who took the shot because any appreciation or reaction to an image is a consequence of what the photographer offers and what the viewer brings. In fact, I took the shot, very quickly, solely for the composition down the path with its rows of trees. The figure added foreground interest and by being off-centre broke the symmetry quite well.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 90mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/80
ISO: 1250
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On