Saturday, February 08, 2014

Attracted to the insignificant

click photo to enlarge
It's happened to me more times than I care to remember. I'm out photographing something large and eye-catching when my attention is drawn to something small and relatively insignificant, something that I hadn't noticed until I got into position for the sought after shot. And that relatively insignificant subject produces a photograph that I like much more than the one I originally had my eye on.

My previous post, of Tattershall Castle, is a fairly routine piece of photographic reportage. The light is OK, the composition works, the content is reasonably interesting, and the shot is different from many of this subject because it's taken in winter when the building is out of use, rather than in summer. But it's not the sort of photograph that I'll look back at, ponder or seek to repeat and improve upon. However, when I was standing on the outer wall of the moat I noticed below me the skeletal remains of plants that had grown up through the water. Initially I thought they were umbellifers of one kind or another, but I now think they must be something else. What attracted me was their pale, winter-blasted stalks and seed heads against the deep, shadowy blue of the water. Then I noticed that the plants were throwing reflections on the surface that were dark doppelgangers. Looking through the viewfinder I liked the sharp, scratchy lines against the dark background and I ended up taken rather more shots of this unimportant subject than of the historic and significant pile only a hundred yards away. Which, I suppose, takes us back once more to the Aaron Rose quotation I mentioned last month.

Reviewing the photograph on my computer I was reminded of a photograph I posted in April 2012, one that was languishing in the vaults, that I plucked out and used. It shows willow branches and twigs over water. Its a shot that sits quite nicely alongside today's, and would look even better with a third to make a short series or triptych. I must look out for something suitable.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 37.1mm (100mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On