Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Wind, cycling and wheat

click photo to enlarge
People who don't cycle think that the main problem with this form of transport is the big lumps of metal and rubber that flash past you at high speed. They're not wrong; motorised road traffic spoils cycling, though not as much as might be imagined. They also think that the second problem is rain. In that assumption they are wrong, because wind is much more of an issue than the wet stuff. For many years I chose to cycle to and from work, and for much of my life, I've been a reasonably regular recreational cyclist. Not a stripped down, day-glo, skin-tight clothing, head down, bum in the air, hell-for-leather kind of cyclist, but a saunter along with my wife, panniers full of camera and lunch, let's stop here and have a look around sort of cyclist. And, while rain can, literally and metaphorically, put a dampener on your day, a strong head-wind will usually do it to much greater effect. In fact, as far as cycling in the rain goes, the adage that I've heard in connection with walking applies: "there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing". Non-cyclists think that the cold is a problem too when you cycle. It isn't because in those circumstances the bike's in-built heating system can be applied: if you're cold pedal harder and you're soon warm! No, when it comes to the unpleasant side of cycling, for me its motor vehicles and wind, and, I almost forgot, rutted ice on the road.

Consequently, when a few days of cloud with strong and gusty winds was replaced by a day of calm with sunshine and cloud, I took to my bicycle and headed out into the fens. I came back with photographs of wind turbines and sheep. I've said elsewhere in this blog that I make a conscious effort, not always successfully, to remind myself to vary aspects of my photography. "Take more contre jour shots" or "Add to your collection of motion blur shots", I say to myself. Another one is, "Take more shots from a low viewpoint". When I parked my bicycle against a gate near a wind farm it was that last thought that came to mind. So I stepped into a field of short winter wheat that was greening up nicely and took this photograph from down amongst it. My bike with its single pannier and bar bag - great containers for carrying photographic necessities - added a point of interest to the shot.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 24mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On