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Chance

A recent conversation on Twitter started me thinking about how much luck plays a part when taking pictures. I firmly believe it is an element in all creative pursuits. Let me first state clearly that I am not claiming that great photographers lack skill or that their success doesn’t involve talent, planning and hard work. When I say luck plays a part I do not mean that wonderful pictures are a fluke, that if you press the shutter often enough, probability dictates you will sometimes get lucky. I am saying a chance element is always involved.
However much we plan and prepare for a phot trip there are always elements beyond our control. At a very simplistic level we are dependent on luck for the weather, for the behaviour of any moving elements in a scene and the way those things interact with each other. True creativity is not achieved by slavishly following a set of procedures learnt and developed over time. Creativity comes from experimentations. Finding what works and that requires luck.
Let me illustrate what I mean with an example. The photograph below is one I am rather fond of. I had a clear idea in my mind before I took it of what I was hoping to achieve but for it to be a success I needed luck. I needed some movement and I needed some sharp elements. That meant playing with different shutter speeds until I got lucky and it just ‘worked’. I also needed some people to move and some to stand still for long enough to stay sharp. I could have done all the ‘right’ things and still not got the picture I wanted. That’s why I say luck plays a part.

 

On The Beach

On The Beach

Luck isn’t just involved in icm, multiple exposure and long exposure photography (where its contribution is most obvious). For me it is what adds that element of tension to carefully crafted images, that would otherwise appear formulaic and uninspired

Waves

A couple of pictures, taken near Craster Northumberland. It’s easy to see where Mick Oxley gets the inspiration for his wonderful paintings, for sale in his wonderful gallery there. These were taken on Christmas eve 2014.

 

Craster Wave and Light

Craster Wave and Light

Craster Wave

Craster Wave

Something A Little More Classical

A more traditional shot of Lake Windermere than the last one

Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Oh Buoy!

Couldn’t resist going very minimalist with this picture of Lake Windermere.

Oh Buoy

Oh Buoy

Steep Hill Cove, Isle Of Wight

Rocks - Steep Hill Cove

Steep Hill Cove

Another image that has been sat on my hard drive waiting to be processed. I make no apologies for loving long exposure shots of rocks and the sea. For me the sea is a place to escape to, where I can just spend time watching the waves and relaxing. Long exposures capture that feeling.

Patterns In The Sand

Patterns In The Sand

Patterns In The Sand

This is a picture that has gone through quite a lot of iterations in post processing. I was not totally happy with the initial composition and have tried several different crops since. I think I may finally have settled on this… for now…

Trees

Green

Green

Layers Of Leaves

Layers Of Leaves

I still find trees a difficult subject but there are one I am determined to master. Above are my latest attempts.

Trees

I mentioned in a previous post that waves are a favourite subject. Trees on the other hand are a subject that gives me great difficulty. I rarely find them inspiring and find it difficult to see compositions. This is something of a shame living in Surrey, surrounded by trees, but without a wave in sight. Every so often I make the effort to ‘try trees’ again, so here is an effort from the weekend. I’m quite pleased with this composition I feel the bands of colour and the light and dark work well to give it structure. Maybe I might get in to trees after all. Anyone who has an appreciation of trees should try this book by my fellow landscaper and much better tree photographer Dav Thomas –  With Trees .

Light and Shade

Light and Shade

One From The Archives

For all sorts of reasons I haven’t been able to get out taking pictures very often this year, so here is a ‘new’ picture (which is actually several years old) but I have only just got around to post processing.

Stormy Constantine Bay

Stormy Constantine Bay

Waves

 

Steephill Cove

Steephill Cove – Dusk

Waves are one of my favourite photographic subjects. I love all the shapes, the patterns they leave behind and most of all the joy of being at the beach and the sound of the waves breaking on the shore. Also they are a subject that works in any kind of lighting conditions. Important with the fickle English weather.