All images ©ericweight 2016

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If you go down to the woods today,

you’ll come back with nothing at all -again.

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 do that.

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 work.

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 than countryfile’s.

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.

My nature

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