Monthly Archives: July 2012
Ice Cream Deckchair in Torquay
Deckchairs are a feature of the English seaside.
But that doesn’t automatically make them iconic.
I was looking for an image which would sum up the seaside but clearly would not identify the locale in the way of the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal or the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Ice Cream Deckchair Photo Facts.
Of course it’s a very simple picture but simple pictures still need some planning.
The first point was the concept. How to show the seaside without the sea and the sand.
And then not just any deckchair would do.
I don’t know when the technology for printing bright patterns on deckchairs came in and I don’t know how colour fast it could be.
The deckchairs of my youth were patterned with faded stripes.
I started by looking for the perfect deckchair.
There were groups of chairs with bold patterns and I took some group shots.
Finally I decided on a tight crop leaving out the wooden frame and legs and concentrating on the pattern.
As the subject is reasonably flat, there are few depth of field problems but this is a shot that depends on overall sharpness so I stopped down to make sure and also to choose an aperture of optimum quality.
As always the lighting was crucial.
The weather in England is changeable even in summer.
I wanted bright but diffused light.
I waited until there was some cloud cover to get the effect I wanted.
Then it was just a question of composing tightly and taking care to hold my Canon EOS Mark 11 steady.
I used my standard Tamron SP 28-75mm zoom – but if I had planned more carefully I probably would have used my 50mm prime.
This picture of an Ice Cream Deckchair comes from my gallery Images of England.
Grey Heron By the Lake
Grey Heron by the Lake is an urban wildlife picture.
Often wildlife photography is associated with far flung, uninhabited places on the globe.
There are places, of course, where living creatures are so unused to humans that they show little fear and allow a close approach.
Still the same is true in many urban environments where animals have got used to us humans and have found that we are no threat.
Grey Heron by the Lake Photo Facts.
As is often the case in photography, equipment and technique are not what it takes to get the picture.
For this photo of the Grey Heron the most important point was to identify locations where herons liked to be.
I was staying in central London and soon found that some of the parks were home to herons.
The main problem was that most of the day the parks were full of people, the weather was either dull and rainy which I tend to associate with England, or as it was summer, the light was harsh and over contrasty.
Another problem was the background – it’s too easy to think that just because you’ve found a suitable subject that’s the end of the matter.
The background is crucial, it must not be distracting and should give some sense of the environment even if you’re looking for the sort of fox in a dustbin approach.
My solution, as so often with wildlife and landscape photography was to get up early.
Setting out at 5 or so in the morning means there are very few people about, and often you can deal with wild creatures as they to respond to the light and begin their day.
I arrived before there was enough light to take the picture but by waiting patiently and keeping still I was able to find a good location.
This Grey Heron was cooperative and I was able to try several shots.
For this photo I used my Canon EOS 5D Mark 11 and a 75-300mm IS zoom lens – a combination giving plenty of detail while throwing the background out of focus.
This picture of a Grey Heron by the Lake comes from my Wildlife Gallery.