Day 264 – Taking pictures or making pictures

I had a lovely afternoon at the weekend talking with a good friend – we did a photography course together and from there have been inspired to take different journeys into the world of photography – I have improved my photo skills through talks, workshops, online learning and challenging myself – she is opted for formal learning first an AS-Level in photography and now amazing she is about to do a degree. She is interested in the story behind the photo – the reason the artist created that shot, although she does not believe necessarily it was the right way to create the image and her onward journey – she is going to be starting a blog and I cant wait to learn from her discoveries…

It was amazing at the weekend though to discover all though we have journeyed different paths we are now so much more aware about what create a nice image, we like different images, one of the many things we mentioned was whether or not we felt we were photographers – and we both agreed we were.

Our definition of photographers was that we make pictures rather than take them.

Anyone can own a camera, anyone can take a photo – and we all,at times, take pictures – but a photographer makes that picture happen – they wait for the right light, they capture the right moment and the compose the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye.

Yesterday was the perfect example of this for me – I was heading off to meet up with other families who live with the same medical condition my son has, my son was ill – so needed 24 hour care – hubby stayed and looked after him, and I went alone –  I hoped as I was heading into the South Downs National Park, I could find a few minutes to create some images to share. I spotted nearby there was an area of National Trust land – The Devil’s punch bowl and planned to stop there, use the facilities, stretch my legs and take some pictures.

It was midday and the light was totally wrong – I was not making pictures I was taking them… I was desperately hunting around for something that would offer foreground interest, that would include the amazing view and give a sense of scale – something that would make it interesting.

Devils Punch bowl - family admiring the view
Devils Punch bowl – family admiring the view

I climbed to a viewpoint, quickly composed a photo of a family from behind – it works in black and white but in color it is not a very strong picture – I like the act that the girl is looking back – but it has no story, no meaning, I don’t know the family, I just took the image as I had a 365 project to do. I was taking the shot cause I had to.

Looking into the punch bowl
Looking into the punch bowl

I tried again – it was amazing place – but I did not have time to walk further, the short walk I had chosen was just wrongly lit – the light too harsh and there was nothing distinctive that drew my eye, I was just taking record shots to show I had been there.

My time ran out, I went to my meeting and then began the journey home – and then I had an urge to make an image – I did not want to be driving home, I wanted to stop, to appreciate the light and to create an image to share with you. I spotted a layby  – a place called “Cheesefoot Head” which was on the Fawley Down and I started taking some new photos for today.

Cheesefoot Head, ISO160, F18, 1/40sec
Cheesefoot Head, ISO160, F18, 1/40sec

It was golden hour – the sky was changing by the second – the landscape was vast and the sky looked amazing. I was handholding with my 17-70mm lens using auto ISO and aperture priority and I just wanted to make some images.  I knew if I did not stop soon – I would miss the moment….

Overlooking Fawley Down - ISO100, F18, 1/80sec
Overlooking Fawley Down – ISO100, F18, 1/80sec

I had foreground interest and great views – and this amazing light.

ISO100, F18, 1/60 sec - a footpath sigh against the sky
ISO100, F18, 1/60 sec – a footpath sigh against the sky

The footpath sign made a fantastic silhouette against the evening sky, the clouds added interest and you could feel that this was the moment – you could inspire others to want to explore the countryside.

The lone runner - who commented on the amazing light - ISO250, F18, 1/125sec
The lone runner – who commented on the amazing light – ISO250, F18, 1/125sec

Timing is everything – this runner could not have timed his run better … he adds so much to my picture – a sense scale, a sense of the vast open countryside that is so different from the New Forest. He even commented as he approached about the amazing light and that I was lucky to be able to capture it – meanwhile I was thinking what a fantastic evening for a run – if only he knew – I did not want to break his stride.

The foreground interest - F18, 1/125sec, ISO1000
The foreground interest – F18, 1/125sec, ISO1000

I have sun flare in this image – the sun was bright, low and to my right – but I love the colours, the sense of warmth and the soft mist in the distance – it was such a calming spot.

ISO100, F11, 1/100 sec
ISO100, F11, 1/100 sec

The landscape appeared to stretch for miles,  the shadows added interest and depth to the fields, there was lots of different levels of interest and the sky was full of detail.

What was missing was family – there was this amazing sky, this huge sky and no one there to share it with.  My family were all at home – they were missing this… and I was there in the vast space enjoying the amazing evening sun. So it was time to capture me – a selfie.

With the camera on the ground, titled upwards with a couple of well placed rocks, a shallow depth of field with a guess at focal point, I put it on 10 sec timer delay and captured my own selfie … I have then edited the same Raw file – so instead of a silhoutte as in the signpost image above –  I lightened the shadows and increased the exposure on my in Lightroom – so you can see me…. my evening selfie …  and very much a photo that I choose to make rather than one I took.

A selfie - ISO100, F6, 1/1600sec
A selfie – ISO100, F6, 1/1600sec

Do you make or take photos?

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4 thoughts on “Day 264 – Taking pictures or making pictures

    1. The more you practice Alison the easier it becomes … I can really recommend trying to compose a photo every day … it challenges the way you think and you learn your camera better!

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