Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cameras tell lies

click photo to enlarge
Doesn't this Fenland scene look calm, idyllic and bountiful? I think so. The luxuriant wheat is flawless, even the tractor's oval of tracks so orderly that it barely mars the perfection of the growing crop. A solitary wind turbine, a piece of modern technology both reviled and admired, stands pristine over the fields, slowly turning and making its small (2MW) contribution to the nation's energy needs. Above, the unblemished sky adds to the feeling of everything in its place and all being well under heaven. What a lie!

I took today's photograph from the steps of another wind turbine, its electrical hum and the steady swish of its blades slicing the air, loud in my ears. Another eleven turbines and an electrical sub-station, all off to the right and behind me added to the controlled clamour, while behind and to the left lines of electrical pylons marched across similar fields like rows of giants holding hands. The evening scene and the appearance of the countryside in this particular location  was eminently open to manipulation and, with my selective viewpoint, I exploited the opportunity.

In fact, that's what photographers do all the time: they choose a small part of their field of view and try to ensure that it contains only those things that help to tell the story enclosed in their image. And the truth is, as often as not, that photographic image - that people assume is entirely representational - ends up being as much fiction as fact!

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 15.5mm (42mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On