Thursday, 22 September 2011

It happened again- twice!

In my post on 28th August I talked about one of my most notable faults as a photographer; my tendency to panic and run around like a headless chicken in fast-paced situations, particularly dawn or dusk where the light changes quickly. Well after writing that I promised myself that on my next shoot I’d take a far more ‘chilled’ approach- whatever happens, happens and so on. I was utterly convinced that things would get better:- all I had to do was make sure I scouted the location thoroughly before hand, get there nice and early so as to be set-up and ready when the magic happened (light-wise) and that should put me in a positive, relaxed, creative mind set. So did it work?
AS IF! A couple of weeks ago I once again managed to bribe a family member to drive me out to a location at dawn, this time a park not too far from where I live. I had loads of shots planned out in my head since I come here often and know it the environment well. One subject I knew I wanted to shoot (in fact this was what I’d come to shoot really) was a small, man-made waterfall on a tributary of the River Wear. I already had some nice shots of it in daylight and so knew it would look even better in the soft morning light.

Unfortunately my calm was shattered instantly upon arrival. The waterfall was gone. I don’t mean the water level was low, I mean the waterfall itself had vanished. “Well this is just bloody ridiculous!” I yelled at my long-suffering father. I’d only been here a couple of days before and everything was fine. Yes you might expect a landscape to change slightly (such as a change in tree colour or a drop in river level etc.) but you don’t assume that when you get out on location you’re going a find a huge hunk of it missing!
This turned out OK. The water looks good at least... 
The terracing isn't half as dramatic as the first waterfall
 Obviously the local council, in all their infinite wisdom, had decided that the stream needed better flood control and so had replaced the 4-foot single drop with terracing; far less photogenic. Bas****s! I took a few shots, none of which I am especially proud of, and then gave up feeling defeated. It wasn’t a very dramatic morning any way- it was only the low light I was after. Instead of going straight home though I turned my camera on the many swans that live on the river at Chester-le-Street. I’ve shot these before to but never in morning light. I also got some fairly usable shots of Lumley Castle, which stands looking quite regal behind the park. In fact I think I might return another morning to shoot it in more detail, but just my luck they’ll tear it down and move it to Sunderland before I get the chance… :  )
At least the light was looking good on these swans!

This guy looked majestic in the golden glow

These swan images were all shot with a 70-200mm lens

The sky got interesting just in time for this semi-sillhouette of Lumley Castle. at least I got something before they pull it down!

Item 2...500px!

I’ve just created my elf a 500px account. For those who don’t know what 500px is, it’s very similar to Flickr in that it’s a photo-sharing site, only it’s aimed more at pro and enthusiast photographers. Whilst I love Flickr I find the comments that many people offer are not all that constructive (actuall I’ve never had an especially Unconstructive comment but browsing the site as a whole it’s easy to see that it isn’t just a hand-out for keen photographers (people who really care about photography) but is also a dumping ground for Joe Public’s shots of his Aunty Ethel’s 90th birthday do- not really candidates for the next issue of National Geographic if you get my drift! The good thing about 500px is that it also offers a blogging facility which I plan to use alongside this blog so head over there now to see some new shots (there are only a couple at the moment but many more are on their way) and to see what I’ve got to say on the whole Flickr/500px debate. Leave a comment or two if you feel like it! As for the shots that are on there now, a post is due here soon describing the shoot (it’s at the Border Ridge on the English/Scottish Border) so watch this spot!
I really am looking for followers so if you like what you see sign up here or drop me line if you want to see something discussed. Here’s the link to the 500px page:-

Thanks all, talk soon,