Ruminations of an everyday creative

January 7, 2021

In the company of trees.

We walked timorously on ice laden paths, weaving our way along the top of a deeply wooded gorge where deer dream and foxes frequent. In fact we caught the sharp aroma of dog fox as we rounded a bend and passed the circle of yews.

This was my first photo walk with a friend in a long time and it took a while for either of us to actually get a camera out. So much to talk about! The exercise session, one to one workshop, support wander, call it what we will was nurturing in its manner and frankly, inspirational.

Having picked our way reverentially through Devil’s Bit Scabious Meadow we were quite blinded by the bright, low light of the noon day sun and scrambled to catch something of the spirit of the ephemeral moment that blissed us.

I’d just been bemoaning the fact that the latest Canon lens I purchased didn’t come with a hood and here was nature defying me to work with the glare, the flare and make the best of it. The lens on my camera, Canon’s 24 - 105 does have a hood, which is always on, but it was woefully inadequate to stifle the clarity killing quality of this particular light. That was what made this moment worth holding on to.

A fog of dead grasses drifted blondly across the marsh mirroring the light that eased through the twigs, backlighting young sycamores in the middle distance.

An ageing oak spread decaying limbs across the top of the scene, reaching out to three young birch trees that warded the right hand edge.

I’d love to have made more of the dead tree that monsters out of the wood just left of centre but I would then have lost the trunks which first drew me into the dreamscape. And their story needed telling.

My lens wasn’t long enough so I had to crop quite hard in processing and then add a yellow graduated filter in Lightroom to reinforce my sense of hope that the trees spoke to me of. A kiss of teal and magenta split toning finished the polish for me.

Sometimes getting it wrong is actually getting it right and time and again I’ll chase flare, glare and insistent light that I used to guard against with screens, origami fingers and deep lens hoods.

 Sometimes I find it good to let the photographic process have its way with me, wicked or otherwise.

Actively working with the unpredictable conditions without a need to control, plan or tame often reveals a magic that at one time I would have happily engineered out.

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