Ruminations of an everyday creative

October 21, 2020

Today I did it not once but twice.

I needed to pop into Morrison’s for a pack of blister plasters to placate my poorly heel and, parking Big Black Van my usual 2 miles away at the far end of the car park away from scratchy shoppers, I only went and forgot my mask.

Kicking myself I nonchalantly turned around at the revolving doors and wandered back. I then replied to a couple of Facebook messages and promptly returned to the store - sans mask! Why did I do that! Do I need to buy one of those brain training apps? Or maybe start microdosing Magic Mushrooms!

Well, eventually I got on my way, plasters applied and watched as the clouds gave way to full bloomin’ sun. My least favourite kind of weather. I’d promised myself a trip to Keilder Forest this week but time and tide and all that persuaded me to stay local so I headed for Mere Sands Wood, a Lancashire Wildlife Trust nature reserve about a millionth the size but at least it had similar trees. Sort of.

Arriving in full sun with a head full of cloudy weather ideas I had to give myself the usual talking to and not be tempted to turn around. Like many landscape and nature photographers I think I have vampire blood in my veins. When the sun shines I tend to hide away in my coffin, aka Big Black Van, or our cave of a study. But today I’d driven the forty minutes here and wanted to make the best of it, so I put on my best sun hat and began to work with the light rather than sticking my bottom lip out at it.

I think it’s called ‘pivoting’ in the modern world, that age old skill of changing your mind and doing something else.

Going with the flow, making the best of it, silk purse, sows ear kind of thing. So I pivoted in the sun like a good ‘un and did indeed get into the swing of it. Backlit leaves, graze light cutting across pine limbs, Silver Birch shimmering through the dark conifers and a myriad flying things enjoying the warmth.

In fact it was in this very wood many years ago that I enjoyed my first Mosquito bite and true to form one of the little buggers had her way with me deep in the woods today!

She got her drop of blood, and I got shots of trees. I think I did ok too! The wind blew nicely and gave me movement which I caught with my Lee Big Stopper nd filter. The reflections of the Silver Birch trees in the mere were sublime. I even had a try at multiple exposures using the Canon’s ‘additive’ setting and watched as the image grew over a sequence of 9 exposures of 2 seconds each. Old dog, new tricks eh!

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