That was certainly how it felt anyway. Laurence and I went hunting boar again and
needless to say, Dr Dolittle had one pose elegantly in front of him, while I had
to be content with watching the damn thing mince away at high speed leaving me a
very unsatisfactory view of its arse disappearing into the thickets.
It was a gloomy, overcast day and we were there before dawn. I took three pictures
of things that caught my interest, which as usual were trees and treescapes. I like
trees, they don’t run away, in fact they are happy to pose for centuries becoming
more interesting in the process. All the same, I wasn’t really trying and I very
nearly deleted them at birth, but for some reason, I couldn’t even be bothered to
Back home the camera was chucked in the corner and I sat down with a coffee to watch
some youtube stuff. I found a video of david bowie band members chatting about the
way they worked with him in the studio. His usual method was play it and leave it.
That raw interpretation would usually be the one that carried the most conviction,
power and originality. In other words, don’t polish your inspiration out of your
I realised that very often the longer I leave my shots before deciding whether or
not to delete them, the better they often seem to be. I have written before about
making bad judgements in haste and decided just to have a quick look at those three
shots. After all, I took them for a reason, I didn’t have to and once again, I found
that images just taken without a lot of prevarication had come out better, and more
pleasing, than I had anticipated.
Having recently waffled on about using more time to take my pictures, with slower
shutter speeds to get more life in them using the techniques of blur and transparency,
I find that I have now used it to capture more subtle, atmosphere-enhancing colour
in scenes with very little light. Scenes that at first glance appeared rather monochromatic.
Dawn light tends to be pretty grey on a dull, misty day like this and that in turn
is modified by the trees that it leaks through. The bare beech trees which along
with the fog kept my shutter speeds down and my iso up, gave my images the blueish
cast which I had expected, but the lack of intervening mist on the foreground has
allowed richer more ‘natural’ colours to show through. The lone beech sapling in
the conifer wood was bathed in dull green light which while it is obvious on a bright
day is clearly still having its effect on this dull, gloomy one.
These colour casts in the lighting add a far more subtle and subdued sense of atmosphere
to simple pictures that I find more interesting than the usual sunrises and sunsets
that we generally rely on to add that extra dash and glamour to our work. Maybe,
actually there is no maybe about it, I am a pretty introspective and gloomy person,
probably more so with age than ever, and that is showing through in my pictures.
What have I written before about allowing your whole body of work to speak for you
rather than trying to produce something that other people want to see? Besides, these
are far more often, the true colours of the British countryside, especially in heavy
winter woodlands and am I not trying to express my view of the countryside rather
I truly wish I had taken a tripod and put more effort in than I did, not because
I want to polish these images any more, but merely so that I could have taken them
earlier. We will be going back soon to try and get more boar photographs but my sights
have wandered. Trees are surely my thing.