Exercise 3.1 – Searching

Brief:- Take at least a couple of hours or more to wander around. Don’t be shy; you won’t be arrested, you’re not breaking the law. You’re doing exactly what most photographers do every day. When we search we don’t necessarily have a clear idea of what we’re looking for. However, the act of searching is never aimless because to search implies an open-ness to finding. It also helps us to hone our ideas, to sort out what is and isn’t relevant. There will come a time when you need to consolidate a body of work, but for now you’re free. When you’ve uploaded your photos decide whether to arrange them as smaller images in a scroll that reflects the journey you made. Or pick out some individual images.

The exercise was a lot of fun. I went out to a small village called Danby on the eastern edge of the North York Moors. It was a place which I haven’t been to before, was accessible, and it’s always enjoyable to photograph in a new place. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to go to the Moors National Park Centre, nor the Inspired By gallery. That is on my agenda for a future time and an earlier train, maybe a bit of sun as well, its good to be warm.

The first thing that I photographed when I got off of the train was a small bush, and a large Monkey Puzzle tree (Whitby Jet is the fossilised monkey puzzle). I started photographing and texture, lines and geometry became an unscripted theme to explore. I photographed footprints, stones, trees, tree bark, plants, landscapes and an RAF Hawk trainer/fighter.

My difficulty has come with deciding how to present the photos. The review of Michael Wolf (seen here) was inspiring, but his series are so well presented that I have had difficulty with selecting photos and grouping them together to try and replicate his quality.







I feel that all of the grids are presentable, but geometry more so. The layout for that works well, and adds to the geometric theme, as well as being easy on the eye. It matches concrete with concrete, wood with wood, and post with post.

Macro could possibly have done with an extra photo, but to be honest I wasn’t pleased with the others that I shot on the day. The first two photos are of a good quality technically and aesthetically, although the third lacks clarity towards the edges of the thorn.

Trees is a consistent series but it lacks punch, and that’s because of the first three photos. If I were to take a few more photos similar to the bottom pairing and add those, it would improve the series considerably.

As always I welcome critique and feedback.



8 Replies to “Exercise 3.1 – Searching”

  1. I enjoyed this post Richard. In the Trees grid I like the second image the most, I like the lead in lines from the walls and pavement.
    Out of the three grids Geometry is my favourite, I think I may have been tempted to crop some of the images a bit tighter to emphasise the subject and the geometry even more. My favourite from this series is the second image, although I also like the door a lot as well.
    You have some lovely colours and textures in Macro, I know you are unhappy with the last image because the lack of focus on some of the thorns but macro is very difficult especially with a curved subject. The depth of focus on macro images can be very shallow, just a few mm and isn’t just down to aperture value but also with magnification that you are working at. There is an interesting article here https://www.erezmarom.com/blog/view/article-depth-of-field-in-macro-photography where the author talks about the issues with macro photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jonathan, I will read the article shortly. I didn’t help that I was using the macro on my bridge camera. I have a dedicated macro camera, my Nikon d7100 with combinations of extension tubes. I took the bridge because I was hoping to get some bird photography in.

      Your point about the second tree is noted. Upon review I am in agreement with you. There is a lot of movement through the photo.

      I also take your points about the geometry. I considered cropping them tighter, but there were a couple (door and concrete squares) where I liked the contrasting lines.

      However I could have taken the rest into Photoshop and set the crop ratio to match those that I wanted to keep as they were.

      A good learning point, many thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In the first grid, the tree I like the last one as it fills the frame nicely and allows the viewer a balance of both positive and negative space. I have always been fascinated by how each tree is an individual in its own right and how each one of them even if belonging to the same species has an identity of its own. I think it could be a great idea to shoot different trees up close keeping the same frame and see the difference between all. That’s ways a uniform grid will be more effective like in Wolf’s work and subtle differences can be seen in different frames.

    I love you geometry series a lot and it looks very sharp and presentable – how would a close up of the top of the last image be? The rings on the log would be a great image in macro. What do you think?

    I like your macro series – it’s not possible to everything tack sharp in macro on such a large object but what you think you lost in sharpness is very easily balancing with color in the second and third images. Maybe do a series of the macro of different plant species bound together with a similar color theme?

    These are just thoughts that are coming to my mind as I see your work – perhaps not really a feedback but ideas to take it forward if and when you want. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate the ideas Archna. I live close ups of trees so that’s something I could take forward. I nearly cropped the fence post closer, but I also wanted the lines of the fence included so that I had the 6th photo for the series.

      The macro I can also take forward but I’ll try it with bees, wasps and hover flies

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Richard, I enjoyed looking at the shots and reading your blog; it was a successful day’s shooting. I too liked the geometry series and the angles of the geometry worked really well with the landscape / portrait presentations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great set of images and conversation between us all too. I still am not getting alerts to your posts, so am late to this again. I must explore this glitch again.
    I love the thorns. The fact that some are slightly blurred adds to the pleasure of viewing for me.in geometry my standout is the post with carved letters. A mystery, and evidence of human presence. Is this a code? a date? ……..interesting addition. Trees captures the North Yorkshire landscape perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you go into the WordPress reader, click on themes (almost top left) then click on followed sites manage. After the two suggested sites of interest there are two search bars. In the one that says search followed sites type photosocioly.my blog will then appear under the search bar. Click on the grey cog, click on receive notification via email. You’ll start getting posts then.


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