Sunday was one of those days when you head out with a few picture ideas in mind, only to find that the weather has changed and what you thought of isn’t possible. The weather was bright and sunny when I planned another trip to Whiteford.? On setting off the bright sunshine started to get weakened by a bit of haze in the sky, only to find the sky fully clouded over with only a few breaks in it on my arrival at Whiteford.

It reminded me of a tuition day I did last week when we had great ideas planned, but torrential rain ruined it. You have to be able to adapt to the conditions you are given. The light had died completely and had gone quite flat at Whiteford, with all the colours getting quite dull as well. The flat lighting had reduced all texture and any landscape relief, so colour images are out if I wanted to do a wider landscape view. Time for some black and white. As black and white is a distortion from reality, it allows you to adjust more in the digital/conventional dark room, without it looking false.

I watched a presentation by Matthew Jordan Smith on the Creative Live website over the weekend. Even though it was based on fashion and beauty photography (which I used to do in the old days in my previous life in London), I find that I can always learn something from other photographers. He taught really well and made the studio a less intimidating place for the beginners watching. What did I learn? An example is shown above. It is in the selection and placing of images side by side when used in magazines and display to get the best impact. It revolves around the use of opposites and making sure that the two side by side images do not look identical in scale, colour, layout etc. The images can be similar, but not the same. There must be a difference. Once he mentioned it, it seems so obvious, but already it has help with a project I am working on at the moment.

On leaving Whiteford, the crows put on a great show, flocking together and producing great shapes. It had got really dark by then, so my shutter speed was very slow. The crows were brought into the air by four Buzzards flying over on the thermals, but my attempts at trying an image with all of them together were fruitless. I tried to get some audio instead, but the wind was too high and I got a lot of wind noise on the mics instead of the crows.

What looked initially as a bit of a waste of time, ended up as a quite productive afternoon in the end. So what ever the weather get out and make some images, but tailor them to the conditions and try not to get focused on one idea only.


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