2 Nov 2008

Light and landscapes

I was out and about with a student the other day – and what a glorious autumn day it was for taking photographs. Despite the strong winds and terrible weather we’ve had recently, the trees have held on to lots of leaves and the colours are still fantastic.

We walked together down a wooded path which I’ve not used for over a year. This path meanders alongside the tidal river Dee through a stretch of oak and beech trees. It came as something of a surprise that, although I knew the path well and have taken many pictures here before, I was seeing things as if for the first time. New pictures were jumping out at me at almost every step. I was seeing new close-ups and different angles between the tree trunks; I noticed lovers’ initials and hearts carved in the bark of some of the trees, I photographed the sparkling water of the river, and hawthorn berries showing bright red against the deep blue sky. So why did it all look so different? The trees were the same and so was the river.

It was all about light. That’s what was so different. It was brighter, crisper, and striking the trees and all the other subjects at different angles to the last time I was there.

It reinforced my old theory that even though your local landscape may be very familiar to you, and you may have photographed it many times before, if you look at the same place at a different time of day, a different season and in different light conditions, it can reveal many previously unseen secrets.

Certainly my student for the day enjoyed his walk through the woods – and we took an awful lot of photographs together that lovely morning.

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