17 March 2015

Surprised by joy

(With a nod to CS Lewis)
One of the delightful joys of photography for me is the surprise of coming across something that I immediately want to photograph. This is not the result of careful planning or of patiently waiting for the right conditions to materialize, rather it's the happy discovery of an unexpected beauty.
I find that many of my photos fall into this category. Here's the latest example plus a couple more.

Gum trees

I decided to drive up to Blackheath to check out a park that might be interesting photographically. The day was overcast and drizzly and a bit misty as the mountains were in the clouds.
On the way through Katoomba some pale gum trees in the mist caught my eye. I took the next turn-off and tried to muddle my way back to the road I had just passed. As I was driving around I came across another group of pale gums that were perfect! So for the next hour I stood around in the mist photographing these trees.
When I was processing the photos at home I tried different combinations - pale trees in a dark image, various lighter versions, a very light or high key version - and fell in love with the high key version.
I ended up with this delightfully surprising photo only because I caught a glimpse of something that interested me, I drove through parts of Katoomba that I'd never been in before, and the weather just happened to be heavily overcast and wet (I went back the following day when it was dry and the trees were uninspiring).
Ribbon bark gums High Key, Katoomba
You can see this in the Others/Art gallery. Also have a look at the more "normal" version of this image in the Nature/Blue-Mountains gallery.

Rubber tree

I was out for a walk on my way to a a coffee shop. I'd been reading a book by Bruce Barnbaum called The Art of Photography and really liked some of his high contrast black and white photos. As I walked along I saw some leaves on a tree which reminded me of Bruce's black and white photos because they were glossy, dark, and had bright stems. I didn't have my camera with me, so I went back a number of times to take photos of the leaves - the conditions had to be just right: not bright or else the reflections on the leaves are overexposed, and no wind or the leaves sway in the breeze and blur in the photo.
I took about 70 photos but only kept this one. I tried a black and white version of it, but I prefer this coloured version a lot more.
Rubber tree leaves, Blacktown
You can see this in the Nature/Blacktown gallery.

Blind gap

I was standing in our lounge room and noticed that there was a gap in the drawn blinds. And just in the gap I could see a few small roses - all lined up to fit in the narrow strip of a gap.
Blind gap, Blacktown
Regrettably you won't find this in Gracious Light because, while I love the look and concept of this image, I got the top and centre roses too close to the blind. I should have moved them a fraction to the left. Ah, well. Mistakes do happen, but they provide opportunities to learn and improve skills.

So, there you have it - three examples of being surprised and delighted by unexpected and unplanned-for images. For more photos that I've taken recently see the Recent gallery.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all you share. Love seeing things through YOUR eyes!!