Friday, November 02, 2012

Look behind you

click photos to enlarge
A casual observer, watching me walk down the street or through the countryside may think that I'm paranoid, that I imagine I'm being followed, that I have a persecution complex or that I think everyone is out to get me. Why? Well, the fact is, I  regularly stop and look behind. The more perceptive observer would notice the camera or at least the camera bag, and would work out that I'm looking to see if there's a shot in the opposite direction to the one in which I'm walking.

I take most of my photographs on walks, and I learned fairly early in my photographic development that we tend to see shots ahead and to the side of us, but often forget to look for those that are behind. It's now November and we've reached the time of year when, if you are walking with the low sun behind and floodlighting all before you, there may well be a contre jour shot to be found by turning round towards the sun. Yesterday's blog post illustrates that quite well. Today's photographs show that this habit of looking behind you is also helpful if the sun is from the side because it reveals a composition that you might have missed due to your attention being fixed on the direction in which you were walking.

Both shots show part of the River Witham in Boston, Lincolnshire, that is known as The Haven, a stretch a couple of miles long where inshore fishing boats berth. I took the small photograph first, using the moored boats as foreground interest and the river bank as a line through the image leading to the short curved terrace of houses. On this photograph I was keen to minimise the amount of sky and to include the figure on the left. My second shot was taken when we'd walked further downstream to a point past the most distant boat in the small photograph and I looked behind me. This view - the main photograph - is dominated by the tall tower of the church of St Botolph with its lantern top, and that meant more sky needed to be included. But once again the same group of boats is important, and with the curve of the river and the buildings by the roadside, provides the main subject of the shot. However, though the subject remains the same, the differing viewpoints make for quite different images.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 75mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On