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Inspired to try a new slant on things!


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After the famous ramble, I felt a little bit more adventurous, and decided to try photographing a few things I never would have bothered with before. Some worked, others didn't, but whilst the photos below aren't beautiful landscapes or wonderful boats, I was quite pleased with the effects. See what you reckon!

First one was the leaf from a grape vine in my back garden. The sun was shining through it, so I tried a close-up from below:


Sunday afetrnoon we took a drive to Horsted Mill. There were a lot of canoes in the mill pond, and this chap was trying to keep himself in the full force of the flow. He's not quite sharp enough for my liking, but you do get a sense of the power of the water I think:


After Horsted, we went on to Cromer for a Fish and Chip supper. The sun was getting lower, and I just loved the rust colour on the steelwork under the pier:


The new Cromer visitor centre has some paving outside which shows some nice concentric circles. Unfortunaltely I had to hand-hold the camera for this and the light was fading so the focus isn't as sharp as it should be. However I think the patterns are quite pleasing, so I might try this one again in better conditions:


Finally, just as we were getting in the car, I noticed some brick piers that were a part of a flint wall. I liked the constrast between the grey hard flint, and the warm soft brick:


I know this may all read as though I've put on my arty-farty hat, but I liked them, and had fun taking them :-D Let me know what you think, even if they are all pooh! :wave

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Great stuff Mark - we'll make an arty-farty of you yet - you're well on the way! As you've noticed, once you start seeing interest in details that you would normally ignore, you get on a roll - you start to compose images as you're looking around you.

Best time for the Cromer one would be in or just after rain or drizzle, if you're willing to overcome the logistical problems.

I'd try the pier one in B&W, with a nice contrasty conversion, and possibly cropping off some of the foreground where the depth of field hasn't quite reached. The canoeist shot has a real sense of energy. I'd bump up the saturation and contrast a bit in the leaf one - I think that because of the backlighting your meter has slightly overexposed, and therefore desaturated, and I'd guess that you saw the leaf as more vibrant than this JPEG, in which case you're not "cheating" by upping the saturation and contrast to make it match what you saw.

I like the shot of the 50-50 vertical split between the bricks and the flints - it reminded me immediately of one of mine - here if you're interested: http://www.brucecairns.com/photo134712.html This convinces me more than anything that you have arty-farty potential - or "an appreciation for fine art photography", as I defensively prefer to call it ;)


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Thanks Jill,

Thanks also Bruce, I'll try the tweaks you suggest and see what the results are like. These were shot in JPEG simply because I forgot to play with the settings before I went out. I was more interested in seeing how my new lens worked out (got a zoom with Image Stabilisation now!). I also have to confess a bit of plagerism from one of your pics for the 50/50 split one. I've looked through your galleries on your website, and saw the one with the plant (virginia creeper?) against the wall last week. As I was looking around near the car park in Cromer, it just struck me that the brick and flint would achieve a similar subject so I gave it a go.

Still, they say the best way to learn is to try to recreate other peoples images you like! cheersbar

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Ultimately Pete, the high level of interest in photography is not going to be for everyone, nor will everyone wish to part company with the sums of money necessary to own the best equipment. But at the end of the day the most important ingredient is the person pushing the shutter button and the best equipment in the world still won't produce good pics if the user doesn't know what they're doing. Likewise, a good photographer will get good pictures out of even the cheapest basic camera. You know what you're doing, as has been proved more than once by the pictures you take, and neither is your camera a slouch so a decent camera and decent photographer combined is going to get good results.

I know that a lot of the discussion here has been about real enthusiast type photography but I also don't want to lose sight of the fact that not everyone is into it at that level, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. In fact when I envisaged this whole thing and first talked to Paul about it, I had in mind people with compacts that had never been out of AUTO mode and that just wanted to know a little bit about how take more control over their pictures by understanding what other functions the camera had to offer, how they related to photography and so on. Of course, on the day, most people that came actually had SLR's and / or a much greater level of experience and understanding than I had envisaged. Consequently we didn't need to worry about the basics and Bruce was able to turn it up a notch.

I'd quite like the photography section to be able to cater for all levels though and for novices not be intimidated away from asking questions - ditto on the equipment front, I'd hate to think that people would avoid coming on future photographic rambles because they felt their equipment might not compare favourably with someone else's.

I've been busy recently but hopefully I'll have some time this week to dedicate to doing a bit of proper housekeeping for this section and get it into a more coherent set up.

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Thanks for the kind comments Pete.

Simon, I completely agree with you. The last thing we want is for this section to become a "photo geeks corner". It needs to cater for anyone who has any interest at any level, and we need to support that.


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Yup, I couldn't agree more either. With the exception of the moving water in the shot of the canoeist, all of my pics above could easily have been taken with a compact. This was really an excercise in composition rather than adjusting loads of settings on the camera. Compact cameras can even replicate shallow depth of field by using the Portrait settings, so whilst they are not as flexible as an SLR and have only limited scope for the photographer to control how the image is going to look, there is no reason the pictures can't be every bit as good if the person pressing the button knows what they are after.

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