Sunday, May 06, 2012

Always carry a camera

click photos to enlarge
In recent years I've missed two great photographs because I forgot to follow my own advice and always carry a camera. I've probably missed more than two, but it's two particular missed opportunities that stick in my mind and make me always take a compact camera when I don't carry the DSLR.

The first was a steeplejack climbing the ladders he'd fixed that extended half way up a tall church spire. Across his back, at right angles to his body, this precarious figure was carrying the next section of ladder that needed to be put in place. It would have made a great shot. The second was the surreal sight of a long - about 100 metres - strip of  plastic snaking through the air fifty feet or so above a solitary bungalow. A strong wind had detached this vegetable cloche/cover from a field and was propelling it, very gracefully, almost in slow-motion, through the air. Remarkably it maintained a constant height as it writhed and twisted in the wind. It looked very odd, and would have made an interesting short film clip as well as an unusual photograph.

Today's shot has none of the unusual features that would have characterised the "shots that got away". However, the line of brown ducklings and their white mother, striding purposefully through the main thoroughfare of a busy retail park like a crocodile of school children with their teacher, made me reach into my pocket for my camera and grab these two photographs; the first as they approached with an over-eager duckling dashing ahead, the second as they departed, the impatient duckling now firmly put in its proper place, in the line with its siblings, following mother. It surely must be mother, mustn't it?

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 8.8mm (41mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/500
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On