Yesterday, I visited RSPB Rainham Marshes. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but I had a wonderful time. The site is fully accessible, has a visitor centre with cafe, and some wonderful managed marshland. The birding was brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There’s no doubt that I’ll be going back there soon.
My bird of the day was definitely the Northern Pintail, with the Redwing being my second favourite. Here are a few photo’s from my visit.
I’m not comfortable with the fact that I love watching Aircraft as much as I do. The climate emergency is real, and its getting worse day on day, and aircraft are the third largest fossil fuel polluters worldwide. I’m very concerned about the environment, and I also enjoy watching aircraft.
I experienced intense paranoia and suicidal thoughts during the summer, and I was too scared to be at home during the day. It has eased off now, but during the summer I just had to get outside everyday. I went to Heathrow Airport on one of those summer days, and watched aircraft flying in and out of the airport. Here are a few photos from that day. You can click on the photo’s for a larger view if you wish. Unfortunately, I do not know what types of aircraft the are, sorry.
Unfortunately most of my photos from my trip to Walthamstow Wetlands (back in the summer) were of poor quality. My viewing point, and the time of day that I visited, meant that the contrast was too strong, leaving deep shadows. I’m particularly disappointed that I didn’t get a decent photo of the little grebe. I must pay the Wetlands another visit.
As you know, I love nature and I go birdwatching whenever I can. Now that I’m in London, the London Wetland Center is one of my favourite haunts. During late summer I was able to shoot dragonflies, and an early winter visit meant I could shoot some lovely shots of a heron. If you’re ever in London then it’s a lovely day out. You can plan your visit by looking at the WWT London Wetland Center website.
Although I was unable to get a decent photo of a Bittern on my last visit, two have returned to the centre in recent weeks, and it was such a delight to see. I made the mistake of taking my intermediate telephoto lens (40-150mm) instead of the 75-300mm. Maybe I’ll get a photo next time.
Walking with a crutch provided me with the opportunity to experiment with perspective. I can balance and keep the weight off my right heel, but what do I then do with the crutch? It’s made it hard to make photo’s unless I put the crutch down on the floor and kneel down. With this being the case I thought I’d make the most of it and explore what I could learn from the altered perspective.
When standing to take a photo, the head is generally pointing slightly down towards the horizon. From this viewpoint the sky takes up a third of the photo and the land takes two thirds of the space. When kneeling, the eye is looking up towards the horizon and reverses the sky to land ratio as below.
Usually this doesn’t work and detracts from the subject, the land. However, the above photo is balanced. The line of the boats mast balances the geometry and breaks the photo up. It would have been a better photo if the sailing boats had been further to the left, they would have made a nice subject.
In a narrow street, this new perspective makes the street appear narrower, but brings the buildings in closer to the centre, which could be good to highlight city lines, or to add an emotional tension (being followed on a dark night/a chase scene), especially when a short focal length is used.
But, with a spacious foreground, a clear line through the image becomes prominent.
In the wide open space of a Victoria train station the lines of the metalwork are heightened, and the spaciousness can emphasise the activity of the people. I like this shot.
My favourite of the series comes next.
OK, so the photo needs to be retaken without the people in the red and orange shirts. Putting that to the side I’ve found a real lesson for bringing the best out of a subject. The lower horizon provides more space in the sky, and this works well with the neutral foreground. And voila – the subject is what my eye looks at. I’m drawn to look closer at the detail. I love it.
Kneeling behind the prominade fence in the next scene creates layers of activity. Not the greatest of photos though. It would work better with a yacht on the sea, the eye needs a point of focus, but the layering works well.
And finally, I don’t know if this was related to kneeling down and thereby being in a more submissive stance, or not, but I felt more confidence in making Street photography whilst I was in Brighton. Regardless of the reason, or lack thereof, it was fun to take photos of people.
The intention behind this series was to create a simple documentary of a day out, but to shoot the photos from a kneeling position. Using a crutch makes photography difficult to do whilst standing up, so I thought I could make use of the need to kneel by exploring the altered perspective. I will write a further post to write about what I’ve learned about this, and to discuss the difficulties I’ve had with white balance and digital developing.
Of note, I felt reasonably comfortable whilst making the street photography for this series, which is an unusual experience for me.