Even though spring has only just started, there is still some colour around and new growth coming through. While walking from the Gower Inn through to Ilston I noticed a few patterns that caught my eye. The sunlight filtering through the trees produced some lovely light on the fading fungi on a tree trunk, highlighting the colours and patterns on them.

Ivy is always a great subject with its leaf structure, dark green colour and ability to climb up everything from stone walls to tree trunks. It can contrast nicely with patterns on the wall or trunk as in the image above or complement the other greens around it as in the image below. I think it was the difference in the colour of the greens and the surface texture difference between the smooth leaf and more broken surface of the moss that caught my eye. I spend quite a bit on the seeing of photographs on my courses as it seem the hardest part for people to master.

I tried two images of the ivy below, one in the sunlight (shown below) and one when all the leaves were in shade. Normally when making detail images, I like overcast weather as it seems to help saturate the colours and gets rid of dark shadows. I even carry around a translucent light panel to act as a cloud on sunny days. The image of the leaves in shade looked too dull and lifeless compared to the sun lit image, which is unusual. The image would be improved if the leaf in the lower right corner could be excluded, but unfortunately I could find a way to do it, so I left it in.

The pine cone had fallen off the pine trees above and got stuck amongst the branches of a young sycamore sapling. The challenge was to try and photograph it with the strong back lighting that was present. A collapsible reflector couldn’t reflect enough light back in to the cone, even with the silver surface used, so I resorted to my flashgun on a remote lead. Hopefully looking at the image you can’t tell that flash was used. I ended up with about two stops less flash light compared to the daylight exposure. On my macro photography course latter in the year we will be going over a lot of uses of the flashgun and shaping of the light for creative effects. It should prove very interesting and come up with some interesting results.

Nick

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