Sunday, 10 March 2013

To B (& W) or not to B...

I can't really argue that my dilemma is quite on a par with Hamlet's moment of indecision, but I want to risk the slings and arrows of outrageous opinion on this pair of images: not sure it its particularly noble, or even that I find myself in a sea of troubles.  In fact I hope you agree the sea in the harbour looks particularly untroublesome!

Taken last June in Boston MA, (a discovered country from whose bourn this traveller returned), and taken  later than the normal witching hour when there is still that good light in the sky that can make a great twilight image,  I pressed the shutter, expecting to be converting to black and white.  But then I looked at the original and found more of a wow factor than I anticipated.  So much so, that I published the original on Redbubble where it has had 165 views (at time of writing). ( original redbubble post here)

But I kept returning to my original intention: the picture in my head when I composed the shot: the black and white.  To convert or not to convert, that is the question.  So as a little experiment in digital dynamics and crowd sourcing of insight, I thought I would ask you to share your view: should I be offering this image in colour or black and white?  Which - if either - has the 'wow' factor for you?  Would either find their way to your wall? 

So, with apologies to the Bard for the liberties I have taken with his most famous soliloquy, help me end the heartache.  Tell me what you think: tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

Its easy to add a comment to the blog: please do!

For those who like the techie stuff, this was taken on a Nikon D90, showing off its great low light, low noise capabilities with 16-85 lens at 22mm (33mm fx equivalent), 20 seconds at f14, with a dab of over exposure to allow the capture of the foreground detail. ISO 200.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

On the Monet?

Photographs can inform, challenge, inspire.  They can bring excitement or moments of reflection. And sometimes they just tease. One of the photographic teases I enjoy is to set up the conundrum: is this real?  This shot is one of those.  I am often asked whether it is is photoshopped.  And barring a mild colour / contrast boost, it's not.  The Monet-esque effect is pretty much straight out of camera.  (And, for those who know I post-process with Aperture 3 not Photoshop, there was no more tweaking there either!)

There is a second tease element here too: what way up should this be displayed.  In fact, what do you think the camera 'saw'?
Well, the picture was taken in early Autumn at the wonderful Stourhead ( ).   The lakes here often offer the possibility of great reflections. My usual thought would be to capture both image and mirror-image.  But here the height of the trees were challenging from the narrow path and anyway, the real interest was in the reflection on the so-slightly disturbed surface of the water.  So that's what I framed.  In a way it was an easier shot than to try to include the trees and brighter sky: I was able to concentrate on getting the exposure right - and balancing shutter speed against the movement in the water.

When I saw the final image it was a Monet moment, reminding me of his waterlilies.  So which way up would you hang it?

I was delighted to sell a 16x12 print of this at Christmas.  The gift was for a Monet fan. I understand she hung it the way it was shot.   Available as print, card or canvas over at

Thanks for stopping by - do let me know what you think.