Tales From The Camera Bag: Digging Deep

November, the worst month of the year for me. Bleak, cold, dark, and colourless. Acclimatizing to the new temperatures, warming your car, cranking up the heat in your home and don’t get me started on all the additional layers we need to stay warm, arg. All this tends to kill any motivation to make images. So we have to dig deep.
I have often said I enjoy shooting with my granddaughter as she sees with unbiased eyes and not encumbered by conventions, where I will shoot at eye level she will drop onto her back, She has taught me to shoot at different levels. I will often work a scene by shooting from high, eye level and very often close to the ground. I listened to a friend speak once and he was saying that he was going out for walk when he saw the way the light played on his leather jacket, he never did get out for that walk, but he did have fun shooting close ups of not only his jacket but the light play in glass.
Getting close means we will begin to see things differently. Seeing textures, patterns and details. Many of these images will become abstract images and perhaps spawn new ideas. I was once housebound by the weather but I wanted to shoot. I looked about my office and settled on a pack of sticky notes. I discovered that they joined accordion-like and when laid on their side they make a wonderful star-like pattern. It wasn’t long before I had a light source underneath and created some very unique images.
As photographers we realize that it is about light, so get out when the light is good. One good thing about November is the getting up for sunrise is not difficult and you can catch a sunset on the way home. The other day my son and I were shooting Split Rock, Duck Cove near St. Martins and it was fantastic; the golden light on those red rocks was magical. We left all pumped up bragging of the thousands of dollars we will earn when we sell the rights to our work, when we noticed the dark textures in a silver pond. It was like a spine from an ancient creature popping up through the surface.
If you don’t have a car to get sunrise and sunsets, you don’t have leather coats, glass bobbles or sticky note pads, then try time exposures. One of my favorite ways to shoot is with a neutral density filter a.k.a sunglasses for your lens. This allows me to use shutter speeds up to 30 seconds or more. Try it on moving water or as cars pass by for interesting effects.
Another suggestion might be use your zoom lens creatively, by zooming in or out while shooting. This works best when you have a slightly longer exposure, simply twist the barrel of your zoom lens while taking your picture and see what you can create. Shoot – Print – Share.

Blue Hour On Gardner Creek

Sticky Notes, Blue

Sticky Notes, Black & White

Sunset Pan, Grand Manan