The title, I feel, requires no exploration or elaboration!
Monthly Archives: November 2012
The first picture below was taken at the same time as the other ‘seaweed doodles’ I have posted previously.
The picture is mildly interesting at best, but I had spent quite some time in removing the background clutter and I had hoped for better. I played around further, rotating the images and, by just adding a little colour, created the wild dancers/revellers of the second picture.
For lovers of colour and texture in the garden there are few more rewarding shrubs than the cotinus. Throughout the summer and early autumn it bears foliage that is first a deep purply red, becoming redder later. As autumn progresses skeletal patterns appear (as can be seen in the first picture below) then, gradually, the rich colour drains, leaving behind a myriad of delightful pastel shades.
These two photos are from the same shrub and were taken a few days ago, within a minute of each other. The first is of the top growth, exposed to the sun.
The second is from the lower shaded branches. Unless there is a severe frost the upper growth too will adopt a similar colour range during the coming weeks.
The source for this abstract was the Barbed Wire post https://lagill6.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/barbed-wire/
The photographer Elliott Erwitt wrote, ‘Photography has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.’ It is an observation that can be appropriately applied to the images below.
There is a length of barbed wire – perhaps four metres – topping the fence that links my garden fence to the neighbouring farm gate post. Its original purpose is no longer relevant — the animals have been moved elsewhere. I have great difficulty in seeing the wire now as an expression of aggressive intent. I am attracted by the twisting of the strands, by the sculpted shapes of the barbed knots and by the possibilities of using these elements to create patterns.
I have referred to the two photographs below as Woodland Sketches – the title seemed appropriate – but they are actually shots of a fruit tree growing in the neighbouring churchyard but overhanging my garden. The term ‘sketch’ is used to describe the light-handed, slightly impressionistic representation. Click on the images to enlarge if preferred.
‘Art does not reproduce what we see, rather it makes us see.’ Paul Klee
From personal experience, do you find this statement to be true?
The fog that shrouded the reservoir made distance shots difficult – the blurring of shapes caused focusing problems for the camera.
However, the still, smooth water provided an inviting playground for the water fowl – the coots, moorhens, tufted ducks, grebes etc. They dipped and dived excitedly while the swans glided elegantly and disdainfully by.
The first picture shows a coot having just surfaced – hence the ripples. (I have two other shots of just ripples, the bird having dipped at the crucial moment!)
At the water’s edge a mosaic of colourful, floating autumn leaves broke up the reflections of the trees to which they once belonged.
Yesterday morning we experienced the first extensive autumn fog of the year.
In the sheep field the trees took on a spectral appearance.
At the local reservoir the mirror-like water and shroud of fog melted into a seamless infinity.
The fruit tree at the bottom of the garden struggled valiantly to make its presence known.
These berries are overhanging a farm track next to my house – a track that leads from the fields to the barn where straw and hay is stored. The binding string in the picture has obviously blown from a passing wagon and has attached itself loosely to the sprigs of berries. I was attracted to this images by the play of sunlight on the berries and on the string blowing in the breeze. I have removed a very noisy background to focus on the main elements.
I had promised myself a quiet walk along the bridle way, taking photographs as I strolled through the countryside. But before I could get out and about the weather changed. In place of the early sunshine it became wet and windy – quite unpleasant generally. So I was left sitting indoors, a grumpy, frustrated photographer. But all was not lost. I could take outdoor shots without subjecting myself to the dreadful conditions out there.
By pointing my camera at the tree tops outside the window and then adjusting the focus to give emphasis to the raindrops on the window pane I produced a series of marble-like abstract images.
Then, through the side window, I used the same technique on the trees further away, at the bottom of the garden. The result was obviously different, but I quite liked it.
Finally I adjusted the focus to concentrate totally on my ‘faraway tree’. Unfortunately it was not possible to avoid entirely the presence of the raindrops, but a little assistance from the saturation filter helped to create a pleasant ‘painterly’ result. And I was still dry and warm!
One of the most attractive features of autumn is the range of colours produced by nature. But I’m not sure we always appreciate the full extent of that range.
To create the pattern below I used the eyedropper tool to extract the colours from just two or three of my autumn images. No two colours are exactly alike – there are subtle differences – and the selection was by no means exhaustive. It was not the purpose here to indicate or suggest any quantitative balance. Maybe I will attempt that on some other occasion – or maybe not!!! For now let’s just enjoy the colourful pattern.
So, Bonfire Night is over for another year. The pictures are of our village bonfire, held on farmland away from property and away from the road. In two of the pictures the tape keeping the spectators many yards away from the fire is visible. The firework display was spectacular and properly organised. An entrance ticket, food and drink could be purchased and, in case of accidents, the event was insured. I am sure that in all respects the arrangements conformed with the 18 recommendations of the Government’s Health and Safety Executive directive.
But, for me, these occasions are tinged with a degree of regret. I fear that in the rush to ensure safety we are denying youngsters the opportunity to be directly involved and enjoy the excitement of participation – to collect the material for the fire, to make a Guy Fawkes and tout it round the street to raise the pennies to buy fireworks, to experience the taste of burnt jacket potatoes or roast chestnuts. It has now become a spectator event at which young and old pay to watch and have no feeling of ownership and achievement.
It is strange how pictures sometimes take over the imagination and reveal layers of interpretation that were not originally planned. I was initially attracted to this feather because of the pattern and texture produced by the raindrops. I then decided to emphasize the natural divisions by separating them and discovered that in doing so I had effectively created the impression of bars – perhaps the bars of a cage or of a prison cell. Suddenly the picture took on a whole new life – it became heavily laden with symbolism. The title is deliberately ambiguous to accommodate a wide range of interpretations.
Click to enlarge