Purple Pansies

Purple pansies brightening up a dull grey pavement edge 🙂

Flower of the Day

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Wild Sweetpea

Every year I see these sweetpeas growing wild on Wanstead Flats, here in Leytonstone, East London 🙂

Flower of the Day

Experimenting with Movement

So Fandango’s One Word Challenge today is ‘Movement’, and I decided to go out for a walk with my camera to see if I could capture any movement – it still feels odd having spent years teaching myself how not to have camera shake or fuzzy movement, to then deliberately create it in a shot. I was initially thinking people, or cars, or buses zooming along the road. But it’s hot and sunny and bright and not really long exposure weather, and anyway as I’ve never really got the hang of sucessfully using my ND filter I gave up on that idea.

Instead I went for a walk in the local woods, where there’s always a bit of shade to be had, lots of dark and light, and played about for a bit experimenting in taking oddly moving pictures of trees – obviously the trees don’t move, but with the right settings a bit of camera trickery can provide the motion! Aperture priority, aperture closed down ( experimenting with different levels), ISO fixed at 160 (lowest my camera can do), and plenty of deliberate camera movement on my part.

To start with I tried my usual zoom bursts, holding the camera steady and zooming the lens from wide to tele, but they looked quite boring; then I tried holding the lens steady and moving the camera instead; then moving the entire camera and lens in a circle; then up and down; then back and forth; and finally in any odd shape I fancied. Overall I tried minimal abstraction (so the grass and trees are still reasonably recognisable), maximum abstraction (where it’s all just random green fuzz) and an in between, neither-one-nor-the-other kind of melting-forest dream-state effect.

I took loads, so here are some of my favourites in all three categories:

Slight movement…

Melting Forest…

Completely abstract…

So altogether I’ve ended up with some very different views of my usual walk through the woods, and perhaps cheekily have also created a rather different take on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge prompt of ‘View’ – what fun I’ve had with this today! 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: For/ Fore/ Four

For the longest time I’ve wanted to be able to take particular pictures of specific people, not just general photographs that happen to have people in them. It’s just something I tend to feel really uncomfortable about, the whole idea of taking pictures of members of the public, and it’s a topic I’ve posted about before, here and here

Today I was walking past a row of Victorian terraced houses not far from home and saw a workman inside tidying up around the edges of an empty window frame in a front bay window. I had my camera in my hand so was brave enough to take a shot, and then another…

And then he saw me, so I smiled at him and asked him to give me a smile for the camera, which he did… ta-da!

So this is my second deliberate environmental portrait of someone at work – the first was this young lad cooking paella at Borough Market a few weeks ago…

Although I did once accidentally manage to catch someone in their everyday work environment smiling for my camera – he just happened to look up and smile and wave as I clicked to take the shot of the whole scene, so that doesn’t really count as a proactive one-to-one encounter for me, as I didn’t actually have to interact with him to capture the shot. Here’s the aforementioned wave from a friendly shoe repair guy anyway…

OK, so maybe I’ll be nice to myself and allow it to count as three in total, as I did actually take the shot instead of mumbling an apology of sorts and running away in embarrasment… now to work up to finding a suitable subject for environmental portrait number four! 🙂

Stream of consciousness Saturday