It’s been a little while since I last posted up on the blog (though not as long as on other occasions). I have been quite productive on the photography front, I just haven’t quite got it all ready to go just yet. So, I thought I would post up an image from the recent project and explain what I am trying to do.
This project is called Verdant. All of the photographs for it were taken during June in Grovely wood. I was out walking the dog one evening. I had a 70-200 telephoto lens with me as I was hoping to capture some images of the deer that can often be seen in the wood. I did get some photos of deer, but they were pretty average to say the least. Whilst I was there, I did capture some interesting images of the trees that caught my attention.
During the last month, I have tried to create a body of work using the greenery of the wood as a key theme. I have tried to construct images that work together using the idea of light, form and hue. The aim of the work is to try to build a series that is subtle in its focus, where the viewer looks at the images to see the similarities and differences between them. The work is about diversity, not in terms of the variety of images themselves but what they intend to illustrate.
I am quite a cognitive person, by and large. However, for this project I wanted to drop as many preconceptions as possible and go with the ‘flow’. I wanted all the images to have a family resemblance. The unpicking of what it all meant to me was to come later. For the project I just wanted to go with my feelings about the images. In my view, I think it worked well. It’s certainly an approach I will use again and develop more over time. Along with the winter images I took of the snow storms in Porthleven earlier this year, this has been my favourite work to date.
I will release more about the project, such as a video (and possibly some kind of Podcast), as I am looking to shake this blog up in the coming months and shift its focus a little. More on that to come…
I have picked up a Panasonic Lumix GX9 to use as a portable family / street camera. Whilst my preference is for full frame images, even a camera like the Sony A9 is quite large (with the 28mm lens it’s fine, but the 24-70 G Master turns it into a bit of a beast). The GX9 is literally pocketable, which is great. It’s got a similar form factor to a film Leica / M10, well actually it’s even smaller. The lens is a 20mm (40mm FF equivalent) pancake lens. It’s a little long for me nowadays, but it does keep the camera very compact. No doubt, I will pick up the little 15mm (30mm FF equivalent) at a later stage. However, for the moment, I will just use the 20mm for a while to see what I can do with it.
Right now, I am just getting used to using the camera and how I need to use it to get the sort of images I like. Whenever I get a new camera (DSLR, Rangefinder or Mirrorless), it does take me a while to ‘get my eye in’ (i.e. to get used to seeing the sort of images I want to create). I find that by using a specific type of camera for a while, I tend to get into the swing of things. When I change from one type to another (such as from DSLR to mirrorless), it throws me out for a while. I am not sure if other people have a similar experience when they change cameras?
It doesn’t often matter about the camera, when I switched between a Canon DSLR and a Sony mirrorless, it wasn’t so much about the ergonomics – as I was used to them both (although ergonomically, the Canon was much better in my opinion). For me, it was more about the viewfinder experience and how that kind of messes things up for me.
Anyway, here are some test shots from my first little excursion with it this morning in Salisbury’s Saturday market.
A few images that I have managed to get about town in the last few days. It’s getting busier in the city now (at weekends) due to the summer season and tourism. The recent events with alleged Russian spies running around town with nerve agent doesn’t seemed to have put people off (or may be it is because of the council’s free car parking?).
I was out for a walk with the dog and saw this shot recently. I like how the shallow depth of field allows you to focus on a short horizontal band of grass, rather than the whole field. Using this selective focus technique can make an otherwise dull shot more interesting.
I was walking near to Grovely woods today, when I spotted this little item left on a branch. It reminded me of the strange mask that I found in another part of the woodland. This woodland definitely has a bit of creepiness about it. People I know locally have an odd feeling about it. The dog doesn’t care though, he was just keeping an eye out for small furry things to chase!
There is a dark history to the woods, which makes it all the more intriguing. Apparently, as it is such a large woodland, there are quite a lot of old buildings and things ‘lost’ in the woods. One to explore some more. Let’s hope there’s no wicker men in there…!
I went for a short walk this evening in the fields near to where I live. I just managed to catch the end of the sunset. As I was just out for a walk I didn’t really have the time to set up a thoughtfully composed image. However, I like the resulting panoramic all the same as the sky was very dramatic after a day of rain (click on image for larger version).